Teresa Kaepernick didn't come to play. Colin Kaepernick's mother responded to President Donald Trump's critiques of NFL players protesting on Friday when she caught wind of them via a tweet from Daily Beast contributor Jamil Smith. The consensus on Twitter? It was perfect.
"Trump referred to any NFL player who protests racism and police violence as a 'son of a b*tch' who should be fired," Smith tweeted. Kaepernick responded: "Guess that makes me a proud b*tch!"
Trump directed his harsh words toward her son at a rally that same day in Huntsville, Alabama, where the president was campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange. During the address, Trump veered off topic, condemning NFL players like Colin Kaepernick who refuse to stand for the national anthem. "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!'" Trump said to an enthusiastic crowd.
Trump went on to call football stars' protests of systematic racism and police brutality in America "a total disrespect of our heritage" and a "total disrespect of everything we stand for." He said, "I know we have freedoms and we have freedom of choice and many, many different freedoms but you know what? It's still totally disrespectful."
Colin Kaerpernick first began taking a knee during the national anthem back in 2016, during the San Francisco 49ers' preseason. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he told NFL Media after an August game against the Green Bay Packers. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
His protests against inequality in America sparked a nationwide movement of dozens of athletes of all levels and leagues refusing to stand for the anthem in solidarity. While Colin is no longer a player for the 49ers — due to opting out of his contract with the team in March — when the hashtag #TakeAKnee started trending on Twitter on Saturday, many users used it to voice their continued support for Colin Kaepernick and his message.
Later, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith released a statement standing up for NFL players' right to protest."This union...will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks," he wrote on Saturday.
And, of course, more than a few people came out on Twitter to rally behind Teresa Kaepernick for sticking up for her son.
Kaepernick and her husband, Rick, first spoke out in support of their son's choice to protest in December, breaking their silence in a statement to The Undefeated.
"As his parents, it pains us to read articles and tweets saying that his family does not support him; this could not be further from the truth," the two wrote at the time, putting rumors to bed that they didn't stand by his decision. "We want people to know that we are very proud of our son and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others."
Trump can, and will, say what he wants. But one thing's for sure — Colin Kaepernick's made his mother proud.