Colbert throws support behind Kaepernick's right to free speech -- and explains why the national anthem is just 'marketing'
Stephen Colbert (YouTube)

During Wednesday night's episode of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert addressed the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick's protest against systemic racism.

Before getting to the central topic, Colbert took at jab at racism in sports in general.

"Let's talk about baseball for a second...It was an incredible play I saw in Cleveland. Let's take a look ...a line drive from Zach McAllister from the Indians, kicks it over his shoulder and catches it. Unbelievable! There's still a team called the Indians?"

He then switched up to the Kaepernick controversy.

"The big story in sports continues to be quarterback Colin Kapernick and his refusal to stand during the national anthem. He says he is "not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." A bold stance. Or, technically, a bold sits."

Colbert continued, "Kapernick's protest has caused a firestorm of controversy. A lot of people are upset with him, including, well, you know who."

"You know who" is Trump, which gave Colbert a chance to get a dig in on the Donald -- who recently who said, "I think it's a terrible thing and, you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him."

Colbert responded by saying, "Well said. If a country doesn't work for you, find one that does. That's why Trump's factories are all located in China."

Then Colbert got to the heart of the matter.

"Now, I want to be clear. I, Stephen Colbert, love the National Anthem. I stand up when I hear it. I know the harmony. It's easily in my top three songs about 'ramparts'. I also love America. And one of the things I love about America is everyone has the right to protest things they're upset about -- including protesting other people's protests. That's all covered in the secret map on the back of the Constitution. Also on the front, in the words. So, Constitutionally, Kapernick protesting and people being upset with him is a win-win-- two words the 49ers will not be hearing a lot this season."

Watch the full segment below