Coach Fisher Weighs In On Colin Kaepernick’s Stance On National Anthem

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Rams coach Jeff Fisher is weighing in on the Colin Kaepernick “National Anthem” controversy.

Speaking with reporters following the team’s practice Sunday in Irvine, Fisher stated that he would be, “very, very surprised” if one of his team’s players did not stand for the national anthem.

“I would be very, very surprised if I had one of our players do that, particularly because of the respect that we have shown, not only this year, but since our time in St. Louis and my time going way back for the national anthem.”

If a current Rams player were to have a similar issue, Fisher said he hoped “that he probably would come to me to discuss it before he reacted in such a fashion.”

But Fisher also emphasized he was not being critical of Kaepernick, who he said “has every right” not to stand for the national anthem.

“We have an organizational philosophy that has been in place for a long time, with respect to the anthem,” Fisher said. “I think it’s a special event and it’s something that should be respected and that’s my opinion.”

If you have been following “HBO Hard Knocks: Training Camp With The LA Rams,” you know just how serious Fisher takes the national anthem: in one episode, he tells Rams players and staff “this is important to me…it’s a respect thing.”

When asked about his thoughts on 49ers quarterback Kaepernick choosing not to stand for the national anthem before a preseason game last Friday against the Green Bay Packers, Fisher said,” I’m going to let his words speak for himself, it was his choice and I’m going to let the 49ers’ comments and their release speak for themselves.”

The 49ers issued a statement saying, “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens.  In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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