San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says it would have been hypocritical to have voted in the 2016 election after his national anthem protest, he told reporters on Sunday.
It didn’t matter to him who won and so he declined to vote.
“You know, I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote,” Kaepernick said. “I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression.”
“It was embarrassing to watch that these are our two candidates,” Kaepernick told reporters after the first presidential debate on Sept. 27. “Both are proven liars, and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist.”
“At this point … you have to pick the lesser of two evils. But in the end, it’s still evil.”
Republican nominee Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton to become the President-elect of the United States. Trump has voiced his disapproval of Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem before games as Kaepernick hopes to raise awareness of racial injustice in America.
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, who had previously said Kaepernick “personified what a protest is supposed to be,” did not mince words Wednesday while discussing the quarterback’s refusal to vote, saying Kaepernick “betrayed his cause” by not participating in the election.
“As far as I’m concerned, Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take.” “I don’t want to see him again, I don’t want to hear from him again, I don’t want to hear a damn word about anything that he has to say about our nation, the issues that we have, racial injustices, needing change.
“He comes across as a flaming hypocrite, as far as I’m concerned. … To turn around and not to even take your behind to the polls to vote for a particular candidate — it is shameful, absolutely shameful.”