Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Monday he believes NFL free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick deserves to be in the NFL, despite disagreeing with him on his methods of protesting. 

“Well, I don’t know what the owners did. I think he’s certainly … what is it … 64 quarterbacks in the NFL? There aren’t 63 people better than him,” Rubio told TMZ Sports when asked about the former San Francisco 49er, who famously began the kneeling protests during the national anthem ahead of NFL games.

{mosads}”Look, I support his right to stand for what he does. I don’t agree with what he did but I support his right to do it,” Rubio said of Kaepernick’s protests against police violence and racial discrimination. 

“But if we’re just talking football,” he added, “there aren’t 63 better quarterbacks in the world.”

Rubio’s comments come after reports surfaced on Monday that Kaepernick’s collusion case claiming the NFL conspired not to hire him shows that various teams in the league viewed him as a potential starting quarterback. 

President Trump has repeatedly slammed Kaepernick, as well as other players kneeling during the national anthem, saying the actions show a lack of patriotism and respect for the American flag. 

“I watched Colin Kaepernick and I thought it was terrible. And then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming. And frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game and he would have never done it again,” Trump said last year. 

“They could have then suspended him for two games and they could have suspended him again if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem,” he said. “But I will tell you — you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem. You cannot do that.”

Tags Donald Trump Marco Rubio NFL NFL anthem protests

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