ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- The White House called NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of “The Star-Spangled Banner” “objectionable” on Monday, but defended his constitutional right to demonstrate.
Prior to San Francisco’s Friday night preseason loss to the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers’ player remained seated between two Gatorade coolers while the national anthem was played through Levi’s Stadium. He later explained that he did so to protest the oppression of people of color in the United States.
Asked for President Obama's reaction to Kaepernick's actions, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest signaled his personal disagreement, but indicated he hadn’t quizzed the president on the subject.
"What I can say is that I certainly don't share the views that Mr. Kaepernick expressed after the game in explaining his reasoning for his actions," Earnest, the White House's top spokesman, said Monday.
Earnest said he's "confident" Obama, an avid sports fan, is aware of the episode, but that he hadn't spoken to the president about it.
"We surely acknowledge and even defend his right to express those views," he continued. "Even as objectionable as we find his perspective, he certainly is entitled to express them."
Despite widespread criticism, Kaepernick insists he will continue refusing to stand during the national anthem.
"I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change,” Kaepernick explained. “When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Eagles rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres told ESPN that he will sit during the anthem ceremony Thursday night in a preseason home game against the New York Jets.
Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thousands of fans and supporters turned out Monday in Upstate New York to give the victorious Maine-Endwell Little League team a raucous homecoming celebration, even as the players were still wrapping their heads around the big win.
"It's shocking," shortstop-pitcher Michael Mancini, a 13-year-old rising seventh-grader, told ABC News Monday.
On Sunday, the team of eleven 12- and 13-year-olds as well as their coaches capped off a perfect 24-0 season with the biggest victory of all: They beat powerhouse East Seoul, South Korea, 2-1, to win the Little League World Series championship at Williamsport's Howard J. Lamade Stadium in Pennsylvania.
"When you actually get the chance to get your head around that, it's just amazing that we represented the entire country in an international championship game," said catcher-third baseman Conner Rush, a 13-year-old rising eighth-grader.
The team, which hails from New York's Maine and Endwell towns, also won the sportsmanship award. The teammates said they used Google Translate to communicate with the South Korean team and invited them to participate in their winning lap around the stadium.
"They were just as talented as we were and we both deserved to win," Mancini said.
"We just tried to, no matter what happens, be nice to everybody 'cause if you lost a game, you wouldn't want somebody to show you up or anything bad," Rush said.
Maine-Endwell were the first U.S. team to win in five years. They faced South Korea after beating Tennessee for the U.S. title 4-2 on Saturday. The team even received a congratulatory call from President Obama on Saturday.
"Congratulations! ... I'm proud of you, guys. ... Seeing not only how well the kids compete, but also the good sportsmanship, and seeing the parents looking all stressed -- not yelling too bad," Obama said in a call posted on the team's Twitter page. "It's just a wonderful event."
Second baseman and pitcher Jude Abbadessa, a 13-year-old rising seventh-grader, shared with ABC News the ingredients that he believed had contributed to the team's success.
"Hard work, practiced every day and just played the game as a team," he said.
At the end of the parade route, the team emptied out of their bus to chants of "USA! USA" and took to Struble Field to tip their hats to the crowds and be officially honored by community and state leaders.
"We couldn't ask for anything more from these 11 individuals," coach Scott Rush, Conner's father, said Monday. "We're happy to be home. It's been a long journey."
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Sunday no one has tried to stop him from sitting out the national anthem at NFL games or to keep him from talking about the beliefs that led him to the protest.
"No one's tried to quiet me, and you know, to be honest, it's not something I'm going to be quiet about," he said Sunday during a media availability. "I'm going to speak the truth when I'm asked about it. It's not -- this isn't for look, this isn't for publicity or anything like that. This is for people that don't have the voice. And this is for people that are being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities, you know, to be successful, to provide for their families and not live in poor circumstances."
Kaepernick has drawn a mix of criticism and praise since it was noticed that the backup quarterback did not stand during the national anthem Thursday night during an NFL preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. He said he had not stood for the 49ers' first preseason game, but it hadn't been noticed.
He said he made the decision to sit out the national anthem because he wanted to bring awareness to things going on in the country he feels are unjust, and because he feels the values the American flag is supposed to stand for are not being realized.
"There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust," he said. "People aren't being held accountable for. And that's something that needs to change. That's something that this country stands for -- freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it's not happening for all right now."
He said he will not stand for the national anthem until he feels those ideals are being realized.
"I'll continue to sit," he said. "I'm going to continue to stand with the people. To me this is something that has to change and when there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it's supposed to represent in this country, as representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand."
The NFL said Saturday that while it encourages team members to stand for the national anthem, it is not a requirement.
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Michael Phelps' just revealed the song that inspired #PhelpsFace.
Remember the record-breaking medalist's fierce stare of determination during the Summer Olympics in Rio? It happened when the Maryland swimmer was preparing for a race in the 200 meter butterfly semifinal.
As South Africa's Chad le Clos was amping himself up by shadow boxing, Phelps created "the face." The face seemingly worked for the swimmer — he finished second while le Clos finished fourth.
During Sunday night's Video Music Awards on MTV, Phelps said while he was creating the face, he was listening to Future's 2015 song "Stick Talk."
The swimmer made the revelation while introducing the rapper, who went onto perform a number of his songs, including "F--- Up Some Commas."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners: INTERLEAGUE Oakland 7, St. Louis 4 AMERICAN LEAGUE Kansas City 10, Boston 4 Baltimore 5, N-Y Yankees 0 Toronto 9, Minnesota 6 L.A. Angels 5, Detroit 0 Tampa Bay 10, Houston 4 Chi White Sox 4, Seattle 1 Texas 2, Cleveland 1 NATIONAL LEAGUE San Francisco 13, Atlanta 4 L.A. Dodgers 1, Chi Cubs 0 Arizona 11, Cincinnati 2 San Diego 3, Miami 1 Philadelphia 5, N-Y Mets 1 Colorado 5, Washington 3
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) -- Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh watched two of his players carried off the field during Saturday night's preseason game, and said afterwards that he isn't a fan of playing four exhibitions each year.
"I know the league and the Players Association is working very hard and trying to figure out ideas to work out the preseason," Harbaugh said after the game. "These are big, fast, strong men running around out there. It's not 25 years ago...It's not the 70's anymore. These guys playing in these games -- it's tough -- and they're not meaningful games."
"They are important to get better," Harbaugh admitted, "and they improve us. But we football coaches can find ways to get out guys ready and get our players evaluated without the kind of risk that a game necessarily entails."
During the Ravens' Saturday game against the Detroit Lions, Baltimore tight end Benjamin Watson tore his Achilles tendon and running back Kenneth Dixon suffered a knee sprain. Injuries in the preseason are nothing new -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered a fractured bone in his back in an exhibition game earlier this week.
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs seemed to agree with Harbaugh. Suggs told NFL.com that "truth be told, we need some of these games, just maybe not four; maybe three, maybe two."
Harbaugh, though, said if he had his way, there would be no preseason games. "If I had my choice, I'd go none," he said. "That might be an extreme point, but we could run scrimmages, or we could run practices against other teams and figure it out. We'd all be in the same boat."
White is the second graduate transfer to choose Syracuse this offseason, following in the footsteps of Colorado State guard John Gillon.
Having already added what ESPN ranks as the 15th best recruiting class this year -- made up of three of the nation's top 100 incoming freshman -- Syracuse also added experience in the backcourt in the form of the two fifth-year guards.
While Gillon is more of a slashing point guard, White can provide Syracuse with the deep shooting threat they have lacked since breakout freshman Malachi Richardson opted to enter the NBA Draft. White, who is 6-foot-6, averaged 16.6 points per game last year for Nebraska.
White began his career at Kansas, playing sparingly for two seasons there before transferring to Nebraska. After testing the waters of the NBA Draft, White opted to return to college, then decided he would leave Nebraska for his final year of eligibility.
iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Football fans split in response to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem as a protest against what he referred to as America's treatment of "black people and people of color."
Some fans angry at Kaepernick's remaining seated during the anthem at a preseason game Friday posted videos on social media of themselves burning Kaepernick memorabilia.
"Good day to get rid of these!," Instagram user treehouse2013 wrote in the description to a video that showed the a pair of earrings shaped like Kaepernick's jersey burned with what appeared to be a blowtorch.
Some critics of the quarterback suggested that he was disrespecting veterans and failing to show adequate respect to a country that helped him become wealthy. Kapernick signed an extension deal valued at over $100 million dollars in 2014.
Others, however, celebrated Kaepernick's protest.
Shaun King, a prominent voice of the Black Lives Matter movement and writer for the New York Daily News, penned a column praising the star player, saying that "the levels of injustice, racism, bigotry and brutality faced by people of color has crossed an invisible threshold in America."
Dan O'Sullivan, a contributor to Rolling Stone and other publications including the socialist-minded Jacobin magazine, joked on Twitter that the protest had made him a fan of Kaepernick.
"I guess I'm the only person online who hated Colin Kaepernick before today and now likes him," O'Sullivan quipped.
I guess I'm the only person online who hated Colin Kaepernick before today and now likes him
Kaepernick told NFL Media yesterday that he chose to stay seated during the playing of the anthem at a game against the Green Bay Packers to show solidarity with "people that are oppressed."
"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 said. "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."
The NFL released a statement on Kaepernick's staying seated during the song, saying: "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem."
ABC News has reached out to Kaepernick for comment but has not yet received a response.
This is not the first time this summer that an American athlete has weighed in on the public debate about race.
Following the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in July, which were captured on video and spurred protests across the country, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reached out to fellow athletes on social media, urging them to “step up and take charge.”
Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez just keeps raking.
With his home run Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles, the rookie became the fastest player to reach 11 career home runs, doing so in just 23 games. It was also the third consecutive game in which Sanchez had homered.
Through 21 games this season, Sanchez is hitting .400 with 11 home runs and 21 RBI. His eleven home runs this month are also the most for a rookie in one month since Ryan Braun hit 11 for the Milwaukee Brewers in July 2007. The last American League rookie to hit more in a month was Mark McGwire with 15 for the Oakland A's in May 1987.
The Yankee Stadium crowd gave Sanchez a curtain call on Saturday. Speaking through a translator after the game, he said it was the first curtain call he'd ever gotten, adding that "it's very exciting to hear your name being called out by the fans. It's a very exciting moment."