Jun 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ben Carson says Trump will "get there" on understanding anthem protests

Ben Carson.

Photo: Astrid Riecken - Pool/Getty Images

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson told Hugh Hewitt's radio show Monday that he believes President Trump will "get there" on understanding why professional athletes have kneeled in protest during the national anthem.

Why it matters: Trump has long condemned the protests — started by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to bring light to the issue of police brutality — and called them disrespectful to the anthem and members of the military.

The big picture: The NFL, which long opposed the protests, came around on the issue after continued pressure from players amid the ongoing larger protests in cities across the country against systemic racism and police brutality.

  • Carson, the sole black member of Trump's cabinet, told Hewitt that the president hasn't "manifested as much animosity" around the anthem protests recently.
  • Trump has tweeted or retweeted about athletes' anthem protests on multiple occasions this month.

Worth noting: Carson also said that he's not sure if the anthem protests "[need] to continue" because the issue of police brutality "has been brought to national attention."

  • He also said that he does not believe in continued systemic racism in the U.S.: "You know, I’ve seen systemic racism growing up. I mean, we are so much better than that now. Do we still have racist people? Of course. You know, you’re always going to have people who think superficially and don’t think deeply. But you know, that doesn’t mean that the whole system is corrupted and needs to be changed."
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