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Bruce Springsteen says he admires San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, while acknowledging the difficulty of making political statements in sports.
In the weeks since Kaepernick first took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” as an act against racial injustice around the country, his action has stirred outrage and support all the way from the presidential campaign to high school athletics.
Springsteen spoke on the matter in an interview with Rolling Stone, saying, “Athletics is a difficult place to make political statements. There was the Olympics in the Sixties, and obviously Muhammad Ali. But sports is such an escapist field. I think when politics or personal expression is injected, it rankles people more than in other fields.”
The Boss also discusses broadly the state of the nation and the elements that have pushed Americans to support a candidate like Donald Trump. He believes that the extreme circumstances have meant issues like racial equality have to be brought up everywhere — even sports.
“We’re in a time where there isn’t any place where these issues can be excluded,” he said. “I admire Kaepernick, but it’s a very difficult field to be outspoken in.”
As for the Black Lives Matter movement, Springsteen said it is “chickens coming home to roost.”
He continued: “These are issues that have been ignored or hidden, and due to modern technology and the availability of cellphone cameras and constant video feed, these things are coming to the surface. Black Lives Matter is a natural outgrowth and response to the injustices that have been occurring for a very long time in the United States.”
So why do so many white people have a hard time with it then?
It’s simple, says Springsteen. “Nobody likes being told they’re wrong,” he said.
This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.
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