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ESPN commentator Max Kellerman raised some eyebrows by claiming that the NFL is "injecting politics" into games simply by having a pregame performance of the national anthem.

The discussion on "First Take" centered around a Seattle Seahawks player comparing Colin Kaepernick to Muhammad Ali for his refusal to stand for the Star-Spangled Banner last season. 

Kellerman argued that Kaepernick, who remains a free agent after his controversial boycott, "did not go looking for a protest" and is not obligated to stand for the anthem.

"And even if it was a rule that you [have to stand], is that Colin Kaepernick injecting politics in the NFL? No. That’s the NFL injecting politics by playing the national anthem and putting pressure on you to stand for it in the first place," he said.

Kellerman agreed with the overall comparison of Kaepernick to the legendary boxer's refusal to be drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War.


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On Fox Business Network today, FS1 host Jason Whitlock disagreed. He said Kellerman is a "dear friend" and well-intended, but is making a "preposterous" argument.

"Playing the national anthem at sporting events has been a long tradition that goes well beyond the NFL and football," said Whitlock. 

He said Kellerman and other "far-left" commentators want to "overthrow everything" and don't agree anymore that America is a "force for good."

Watch the segment above, including Whitlock's take on the Warriors star Stephen Curry's boycott of the White House.


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