Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem has generated a lot of comments on both the manner in which he has protested and the reason behind the protest. However, until now, few people in the sports world have have questioned his motives.
Enter former Major League Baseball Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa.
La Russa, who managed in the Bay Area with the Oakland Athletics, was a guest on ESPN’s “The Dan Le Batard Show” and was asked about anthem protests and recent comments made by Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles. Jones recently noted that protesting the anthem is more difficult in MLB because “it’s a white man’s sport.“
La Russa disputed that claim by Jones and then quickly veered on to the subject of Kaepernick and his protest. La Russa started by saying he would not allow a player on his team to protest the anthem.
Then, unprovoked, La Russa said he doubts Kaepernick’s sincerity and wonders what the real motivation is.
“I really distrust Kaepernick’s sincerity,” La Russa told Dan Le Batard. “I was there in the Bay Area when he first was a star, a real star. I never once saw him do anything but promote himself.”
La Russa then appeared to suggest that Kaepernick’s status on the 49ers could be the motivation for the protest.
“All of a sudden now, he’s a second-stringer, and he’s got this mission,” said La Russa. “I just don’t trust his sincerity.”
It is worth noting that Kaepernick’s public interest in social injustice appeared to begin nearly a year before he started protesting the anthem.
La Russa went on to say that “even if he was sincere,” that there are ways to get the point across “without disrespecting the country you live in and the flag.”
You can see La Russa’s comments here: