Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem has gotten mixed reactions across America. The latest to weigh in is Muhammad Ali’s ex-wife Khalilah Camacho Ali, who told TMZ Sports that Kaepernick is not heroic for refusing to salute the flag, adding that the quarterback should “get off his high horse,” and “apologize.”
Spike Lee and others have compared Kaepernick’s protest to Ali’s refusal to serve in the Vietnam War. In 1967, Ali was jailed and banned from boxing after saying his religious beliefs prevented him from reporting for military service after he was drafted.
President Barack Obama, speaking at the G20 summit in China, said he feels Kaepernick’s protest has legitimacy. “He’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement.” Obama added, “If nothing else, what he’s done is he’s generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about… My suspicion is that over time he’s gonna refine how he’s thinking about it and maybe some of his critics will start seeing that he has a point around certain concerns about justice and equality. That’s how we move forward. Sometimes it’s messy, but that’s the way democracy works.”