San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick spoke out after the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 about his distrust of both of the mainstream presidential candidates.
Kaepernick, who came to prominence in August for a protest during the national anthem, said he was not impressed by the first debate.
“Both are proven liars, and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist,” Kaepernick said. “At this point — talking to one of my friends — you have to pick the lesser of two evils. But in the end, it’s still evil.”
Kaepernick attacked Republican nominee Donald Trump, who responded to the quarterback’s protest by telling him to leave the country if he was not happy with how things were being done.
“It’s a very ignorant statement that if you don’t agree with what’s going on here and that if you want justice and liberty and freedom for all you should leave the country,” said Kaepernick. “He always says, ‘Make America great again.’ Well, America has never been great for people of color. That’s something that needs to be addressed. Let’s make America great for the first time.”
Kaepernick has been joined in his anthem protest by other NFL players, including seven members of the 49ers.
In addition, some demonstrators in Charlotte, North Carolina, protesting the police killing of Keith Lamont Scott, took inspiration from the quarterback by taking a knee during demonstrations.
“I think that’s people responding to the oppression that’s going on, the injustices that are going on, officers walking free for murder,” said Kaepernick.
Growing numbers of people appear to agree with Kaepernick’s distrust of the Democrats and Republicans. The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 21 that interest in third-party candidates for the 2016 election was at its highest level in more than two decades.
Libertarian Gary Johnson is currently polling at 9 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 3 percent.
“I believe this year third parties will outperform the historical average,” Clifford Young of polling firm Ipsos told The Wall Street Journal. “That probably won’t tip the balance in most places. But in key swing states like Florida, like Ohio, which are running neck and neck right now, it could.”
Support for third parties is particularly high among young voters. A Quinnipiac University poll found that 44 percent of voters aged 18-34 will vote for either Johnson or Stein in November.