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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."

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 9, 2020 - Sports

College football becomes a political proxy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

College football has become a key political issue as the 2020 election approaches, and the impending NFL season will only ratchet up the intensity around empty stadiums and player protests.

Why it matters: Football is America's most popular sport. And considering 43 of the top 50 most-watched TV broadcasts last year were football games, it's arguably our most popular form of entertainment, period.

Mike Allen, author of AM
7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."