Colin Kaepernick said today that he is not a Muslim and believes the rumors that he is are fueled by Islamaphobia.
“I have great respect for the religion, know a lot of people that are Muslim and are phenomenal people,’’ Kaepernick said. “But I think that [rumor of conversion] comes along with people’s fear of this protest, as well as Islamophobia in this country. People are terrified of them to the point where Trump wants to ban all Muslims from coming here, which is ridiculous.”
Kaepernick said his girlfriend, Nessa Diab, is a Muslim and has had an impact on his views, though he has not converted.
“The impact is just conversations that we constantly have,’’ he said. “This is an open discussion that I have with many people, not just my woman. She is Muslim, her family is Muslim, I have great respect for them. I have great respect for people’s right to believe what they want to believe. And I don’t think anybody should be prosecuted or judged based on what their beliefs are.’’
Kaepernick has become the NFL’s most-discussed player since his refusal to stand for the national anthem became publicized following the 49ers’ third preseason game. He will continue to kneel for the anthem before the 49ers’ opener on Monday night against the Rams.