Navy admiral rips Kaepernick in Pearl Harbor speech

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A Navy admiral is blasting sports stars for protesting the national anthem.

U.S. Pacific Command Commander Harry Harris’s rebuke earned him a standing ovation Wednesday during his speech honoring the 75th anniversary of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

{mosads}“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,” he said at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii.

Harris, who is charged with overseeing U.S. armed forces operations in the Pacific region, did not mention San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick or other athletes by name in his remarks. 

The Navy admiral was commemorating the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, a surprise military strike by Japan that ultimately drew the U.S. into World War II. The ensuing battle killed 2,403 U.S. military members and wounded 1,178 others, and also resulted in 68 civilians killed and another 35 wounded.

Kaepernick began protesting the national anthem in August, refusing to rise from his seat when the song began.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he said after the Aug. 27 game, according to

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Kaepernick has since repeatedly kneeled during the anthem in a continuing demonstration against police brutality against minorities.

Multiple athletes in different sports have followed the San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s lead, keeping the issue in national headlines.

Donald Trump, who is now the president-elect, said in August that Kaepernick should leave the U.S. if he won’t stand for the national anthem.

President Obama, meanwhile, in September said the football player was merely “exercising his constitutional right” to free speech.

Tags Donald Trump Football National anthem National Football League Navy NFL Pearl Harbor Sports

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