Navy admiral takes shot at Colin Kaepernick during Pearl Harbor speech
U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris took a moment during a speech Wednesday commemorating the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor to take a shot at Colin Kaepernick and his practice of kneeling during the national anthem.
“You can bet that the men and women we honor today — and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,” Harris said during the speech in Hawaii, via the New York Post, eliciting an extended ovation from the assembled crowd.
Harris, who had several family members serve in World War II including his father, obviously never explicitly called out Kaepernick by name. But given the incredible amount of attention paid to the San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s anthem protests, it was pretty easy to connect the dots and identify to whom Harris was referring. Although Harris presumably was calling out others who have followed Kaepernick’s lead since the protest movement began during the preseason.
The Department of Defense evidently supported Harris’ trolling of Kaepernick, as it posted video of his comments in a since-deleted tweet.
The anthem protest movement spawned by Kaepernick — which has turned into a divisive issue in the NFL and other pro leagues as well — has quieted some since earlier on in the NFL season. But it inspired commentary from everyone from Marshawn Lynch to Johnny Manziel to president-elect Donald Trump, among countless others inside and outside the league.
In fact, Kaepernick’s protests have even become sources of pop culture commentary, from being addressed on “South Park” and in video gamesas well.
Kaepernick has continued to be a polarizing figure outside his anthem protests, with controversy surrounding his refusal to vote in the presidential election and his opinions on the late Fidel Castro.
And now Kaepernick can add a decorated military officer to the list of people who have called him out. Although it’s likely Kaepernick won’t be too fazed by Harris’ condemnatory remarks.