Fiery Former NFL Player Calls Out 'Ignorant,' 'Unappreciative' Kaepernick
Kaepernick later explained that he was sitting to protest the country's treatment of African Americans.
Former Jets and Raiders safety Burgess Owens took issue with Kaepernick's political statement, saying it should be a "wakeup call" for the country.
"We fail to teach our kids, our young people, anything about our history," Owens said. "They’re ignorant about our country and they’re totally unappreciative of the freedoms that have been gained by people that have paid the price for them."
Owens, who played in the NFL from 1973-82, said that our country isn't facing a racial crisis, but an ideological one.
"If this young man wants to really be part of the answer, turn off BET," Owens said. "Black Entertainment Television is not a black-owned company. It’s owned by liberal Democrats, who for the last 15 years have fire-hosed my community with anti-white, anti-police, anti-American, anti-family liberal filth."
Owens said the common denominator between Kaepernick's national anthem gesture, Beyoncé's VMAs statement and the combative rhetoric of Black Lives Matter is the influence of "white, liberal bullies and cowards."
"If you're going to step in the political arena, educate yourself," Owens said. "Learn about our country. Learn about the freedom of a $100 million contract that the athletes of my era paid the price for this young man to have today."