Pramila Jayapal Says She Respects Kaepernick's Anthem Protest

Washington Democrat is running for Rep. Jim McDermott's seat

Washington House candidate Pramila Jayapal is running to succeed longtime Rep. Jim McDermott in the Seattle-based 7th District. (Courtesy Pramila for Congress)

Democratic House candidate Pramila Jayapal said she respected the actions of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who drew controversy when he chose not to stand for the national anthem last week. 

Kaepernick's decision to sit during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at an exhibition game Friday was meant to highlight police brutality and racial disparities, several media outlets reported. He's since declared he'll continue to sit until "there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent."

[Congress Set to Get a Little More Diverse After Tuesday]

In an interview on Sidewire with Roll Call columnist Jonathan Allen, Jayapal was asked about Kaepernick's actions after Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said he agreed with the points the 49ers quarterback made.

"I respect what he did," she said. "The beautiful thing about America is that we have the freedom to say what we believe. He is a very public figure who has decided to use his platform to highlight some of the injustices he sees."

Jayapal is a Democrat running for outgoing Rep. Jim McDermott's seat in Washington's 7th District. She finished first in the open primary earlier this month and will face fellow Democrat Brady Walkinshaw in the November general election. 

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.