Minnesota native and former governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura weighed in on Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem.
In a video published to Busisness Insider’s Facebook page on Friday, Ventura said he salute’s Kaepernick and fully supports his decision to protest.
“I fully support him. Fully and completely. That’s why I served my country so you have the freedom to protest,” said Ventura. “I don’t have to agree with him, but I’ll still respect his right to it, and everyone should respect that.”
Ventura brought up a point during his tenure as governor when Democrats and Republicans tried to pass a law requiring the Pledge of Allegiance in all public schools.
“I immediately vetoed it,” said the former governor. “You know why? Because governments should not mandate patriotism. Governments earn patriotism.”
Ventura also reminded those who don’t support Kaepernick that he is at least putting his “money where mouth is.”
Kaepernick donated $1 million to communities in need. He also announced on his Instagram that he will donate the profits from his jersey sales to communities too.
Kapernick’s jersey sales skyrocketed to the top in the NFL after his protest. Before his protest, his jersey sales ranked 120th in the league.
Back in August before a preseason game, the 49ers quarterback refused to stand during the National Anthem because of police killings and oppression of people of color in the United States.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”
His stance on the issue has warranted support and controversy.
Fellow teammates and players from around the NFL have joined Kaepernick by kneeling during the anthem and also pledging money to those in need.
However the Santa Clara, Calif. police union threatened to stop securing Levi’s Stadium because of his stance.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters he disagrees with the quarterback’s choice to kneel but recognizes his right to protest.
Even Jed York – the CEO of the San Francisco 49ers – announced the 49ers Foundation will contribute money to the cause of improving racial and economic inequality in the Bay Area.