President Trump at a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville on Monday. (Mark Lyons/European Pressphoto Agency)

LOUISVILLE — President Trump delivered a stiff arm Monday night to Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who made national headlines last year for kneeling during the national anthem.

Kaepernick, now a free agent, has been struggling to get picked up by another team — which Trump relayed to a packed arena here during what was billed as a campaign rally.

“There was an article today that reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump,” the president said. “Do you believe that? I just saw that. … I said if I remember that one, I’m going to report it to the people of Kentucky, because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag, right?”

During last year’s campaign, Trump was a vocal critic of Kaepernick, even suggesting at one point that “maybe he should find a country that works better for him.”


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in October 2016. (Mike Groll/Associated Press)

In an interview last year, Kaepernick explained that he was refusing to stand during the national anthem because he did not want “to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

During his remarks Monday, Trump did not refer to Kaepernick by name, instead calling him “your San Francisco quarterback.”