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White House press secretary addresses Kaepernick situation

White House Press Briefing

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 20: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest briefs members of the media at the White House June 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. Earnest opened the day’s briefing with advice for protection against a growing threat from the Zika virus. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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When I heard on Friday night that 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted to take a seat for the national anthem prior to the preseason game against the Packers, I knew it would be a big deal. But it’s become a much bigger deal than I thought it would be.

The gesture, and Kaepernick’s explanation, inevitably ended up on the campaign trail on Monday. But it also made its way to the place where the guy who won the last two presidential elections works and lives.

“I certainly don’t share the views that Mr. Kaepernick expressed after the game,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday, via the Washington Times. “But we surely all acknowledge and even defend his right to express those views.”

Earnest last made news in the NFL with his assessment of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s initial #DeflateGate press conference. “For years it’s been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady’s job as quarterback of the New England Patriots,” Earnest said. “But I can tell you, as of today, it’s pretty clear that there’s no risk of him taking my job either.”

President Obama has yet to address the Kaepernick issue personally, but if the debate continues to grow -- and if Kaepernick and others adopt the gesture -- it’s inevitable that the Commander-in-Chief will weigh in on the subject.