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Jim Brown on Colin Kaepernick controversy: ‘I am with him 100 percent’

The Syracuse Orange legend offers his support to Kaepernick.

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Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown expressed his support for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem prior to the team’s Week 3 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday.

"I listened to him and he makes all the sense in the world. He's within his rights and he's telling the truth as he sees it," Brown said in an interview with NFL Total Access on Monday. "I am with him 100 percent.”

Kaepernick further explained his stance following the game, telling reporters he can’t support a country that continues to oppress African Americans and people of color.

"To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick said. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

In addition to his dominance on the gridiron, Brown is known for his social and civil rights activism and becoming one of the most influential African American athletes during the Civil Rights Movement.

“Young men in my day really stepped up. ... These were champions for freedom, equality and justice for all humans beings, and they were educated individuals that used their education and knowledge to represent their case,” Brown said. “So now 50 years later we have a young man saying something that was kind of taken for granted in our day. We were way past that. For me it's like going back in time."

Brown also served in the Army reserves for four years after graduating from Syracuse in 1957, before being honorably discharged with the rank of Captain. While the Syracuse and NFL legend said he agrees with Kaepernick’s message, and decision to bring light to an important issue, Brown said he doesn’t agree with the method Kaepernick took to go about it.

“Now if you ask me 'Would I do that?' No I won't, because I see it a little differently,” Brown said. “I'm an American citizen, I pay my taxes, I want my equal rights but this is my country, and consequently I don't want to open up for ISIS or anybody that will take away what we've already gained."