LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CBSNewYork) — Donald Trump, who won the presidential election, in part, by vowing to create jobs, is receiving credit for keeping one man out of work — and he seems rather proud of it.READ MORE: NYPD: Delivery Worker Stabbed To Death, E-Bike Stolen Near Sara D. Roosevelt Park
At a campaign-style rally in Louisville on Monday night, the president cited an article that said one reason former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made headlines last year for refusing to stand for the national anthem, has not been signed because teams are afraid Trump will call them out on Twitter.
Trump did not refer to Kaepernick by name, but it was clear who he was talking about.
“Your San Francisco quarterback, I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” he told the crowd just after speaking about trying to improve conditions in America’s inner cities.
“There was an article today, it was reported, that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that?” Trump said to a cheering crowd.
“I just saw that. I said if I remember that one, I’m going to report it to the people of Kentucky, because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?”
It’s not the first time Trump has taken a shot at Kaepernick publicly.
Shortly after Kaepernick began his protest in August, then-candidate Trump said the quarterback “should find a country that works better for him.”READ MORE: 'NYC Play Fair' Rally Held At Barclays Center For Student-Athletes Unable To See Scouts Due To COVID Restrictions
Kaepernick began refusing to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the 2016 preseason to protest racial oppression and police brutality in the United States. He continued the protest throughout the season, and many other NFL players later joined him.
After opting out of his 49ers contract, which would have guaranteed him $14.5 million in 2017, the 29-year-old signal-caller has said through his representatives this offseason that he will no longer continue his kneeling practice during the anthem.
The 49ers selected Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft. A year later, he led San Francisco to the Super Bowl. But the once-promising star has struggled mightily over the past two seasons, being yanked in and out of the lineup and going just 3-16 as a starter.
The report Trump cited Monday was likely one on Bleacher Report, in which an anonymous AFC general manager gave three reasons why Kaepernick is still unemployed.
“First, some teams genuinely believe that he can’t play,” the GM said. “They think he’s shot. I’d put that number around 20 percent.
“Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.
“Third, the rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did (kneeling for the national anthem). They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.”
On Sunday, film director Spike Lee suggested the Jets should sign Kaepernick.
“How Is It That There Are 32 NFL Teams And Kap Is Still A Free Agent? WTF,” Lee wrote on Instagram. “Smells MAD Fishy To Me,Stinks To The High Heavens.”MORE NEWS: Police: Suspect In Killing Of New Rochelle Taxi Driver Taken Into Custody After Shootout In Brooklyn
The Jets have since signed quarterback Josh McCown.