Kaepernick’s mom: Trump’s comments were a “big mistake”
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NFL free agent Colin Kaepernick's mother says President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's attack on athletes who kneel during the national anthem at sporting events was "a big mistake."

In an interview with Deadspin on Saturday, Teresa Kaepernick said it was "disappointing" that Trump took aim at the NFL during a fiery campaign rally in Alabama on Friday night, and accused him of playing to "racist people" in the crowd of supporters.

"It’s always at his rallies, and he’s always pandering and playing to the crowd," she said. "There are a lot of racist people in that crowd, a lot of people that are just looking for something to get hyped about, and this is the kind of thing he does."

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"It’s like a bully on a playground, I guess," she added.

Trump said Friday that NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem at professional football games should be fired, and he called on his supporters to walk out on the sporting events when athletes do it.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired,' " he said.

The comments took aim at a trend started by Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who began kneeling during the national anthem at football games last year to protest racial injustice and police brutality against people of color in the U.S.

Colin Kaepernick's protests were praised by some and fiercely criticized by others, and prompted other athletes to follow suit.

Teresa Kaepernick spoke critically of Trump on Saturday, telling Deadspin that "the guy is not all there," and defended her son against the president's remarks.

"As a mom you’re protective of your kid," she said. "I grant you he’s a 29-year-old man, he doesn’t need my protection, but boy, somebody insults somebody you love, and your first instinct is to really wanna just go after him."