On Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the Star Spangled Banner before his team's preseason game. On Sunday, he said he will continue to do so until race relations improve in the United States.
On Monday, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he didn't approve of Kaepernick's decision, but he acknowledged the 28-year-old QB's First Amendment right to do so.
"I respect his right as an American. Freedom of speech is one thing," Arians said Monday.
"I disagree with (his decision). I want to stand and cheer for all the people who've lost their life of every religion, race, gender defending that flag. It's not my opinion, but I respect his right."
The NFL noted players are encouraged to stand for the national anthem but are not required to do so. Arians said he would apply the same standard if one of his players decided to follow in Kaepernick's footsteps.
"You respect their rights," he said when asked how he would react if the situation arose.