Brennan defends Kaepernick: He didn't kneel 'to disrespect our flag'
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Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan: Saudi denials of involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance 'ring hollow' Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request Mr. President, tear down the wall hiding those FISA abuses MORE praised NFL player Colin Kaepernick on Monday, saying the athlete gave meaning to the Constitution by taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

“Colin Kaepernick drew our collective attention to the problem of continued racial injustice in America,” Brennan tweeted Monday night. “He did so not to disrespect our flag but to give meaning to the words of the preamble of our Constitution—‘in order to form a more perfect union.’ Well done, Colin, well done.”

Brennan shared the tweet in response to news that Kaepernick had been tapped to be the new face of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.

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The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback became a free agent after kneeling during the 2016 NFL season. He has remained unsigned since then amid massive backlash.

Nike signed Kaepernick to an endorsement deal in 2011 and has maintained that contract since then, ESPN reported.

The player filed a grievance last year accusing league owners of colluding to keep him off a team, and an arbitrator ruled last week that his case will go to trial.

Critics who argue the protests are disrespectful to the American flag and veterans blasted Nike's announcement Monday that Kaepernick would be the face of its new ad campaign.

Country singer John Rich of the band Big and Rich posted a picture of his sound man cutting a pair of Nike socks in protest.

“Our Soundman just cut the Nike swoosh off his socks. Former marine. Get ready @Nike multiply that by the millions,” Rich wrote.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE has frequently attacked players who have kneeled in the roughly two years since Kaepernick started the movement.

The president suggested last month that players who protest during the national anthem should be suspended without pay.

NFL owners initially caved to pressure earlier this year when they approved a policy that would fine players who kneel during the anthem. The league has since put that policy on hold.