USA basketball coach Gregg Popovich has come out in praise of Colin Kaepernick, whose stand against racial injustice in America cost him his NFL career.
In 2016, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback began kneeling during the airing of the USA's national anthem as a protest against alleged police brutality and racism towards the country's black community.
Though other athletes followed suit, it proved controversial, with Kapaernick having been unattached since the end of the 2016 and many, including President Donald Trump, accused him of disrespecting his country with his actions.
However, Popovich, who is preparing to lead the USA into the FIBA World Cup, belives that patriotism can take many different forms and that Kapaernick's stand was showing his love for his country.
"Patriotism means a lot of things to different people," Popovich said according to the Guardian.
"There’s people who are truly committed in that sense and people who are fake. The show of patriotism I think is a bit inappropriate and that is not something that I think we want to emulate. Because someone hugs a flag doesn’t mean they’re patriotic.
"Being a patriot is somebody that respects their country and understands that the best thing about our country is that we have the ability to fix things that have not come to fruition for a lot of people so far.
"To negate that part of what we’re able to do is ignorant on anybody’s part who tries to make those people look unpatriotic. Like a Kaepernick. That was a very patriotic thing he did. He cared about his country enough to fix some things that were obvious, that everybody knows about but does nothing about."
Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs coach, was in the Air Force prior to his coaching career.