Trump says he 'absolutely' would support Colin Kaepernick getting second shot in NFL despite kneeling controversy

President Trump lent some support Wednesday to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, saying he "would love to see him get another shot" if he still has the skills to play in the league.

During an interview with Sinclair correspondent Scott Thuman, Trump was asked about Kaepernick, the then-San Francisco 49er who sparked a national debate in 2016 when he protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, and whether or not the president believes Kaepernick "should get another shot in the NFL."

"If he deserves it, he should. If he has the playing ability," Trump said. "He started off great and then he didn't end up very great in terms of as a player. He was terrific in his rookie year, I think he was very good in his second year, and then something happened. So his playing wasn't up to snuff."


The president continued: "The answer is absolutely I would. As far as kneeling -- I would love to see him get another shot, but obviously he has to play well. If he can't play well, I think it would be very unfair."

President Trump expressed a similar sentiment back in August 2019, telling White House reporters at the time: "I'd love to see Kaepernick come in if he's good enough, But I don't want to see him come in because somebody thinks it's a good PR move.”

Trump has previously been a longtime critic of Kaepernick and other players who knelt during the anthem.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers. He led the team to the Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2012 season, but the 49ers lost.


In his time away from the NFL, Kaepernick has been involved in a number of social activism organizations and founded the “Know Your Rights Camp,” which teaches young children about self-empowerment, American history and legal rights. He also picked up a multimillion-dollar deal with Nike.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently said that he'd "encourage" teams to sign Kaepernick ahead of the upcoming season.

Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.