Kareem Abdul-Jabbar supports Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There are new details on the controversy facing 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick following his decision to sit during the national anthem. A basketball legend weighed in on the controversy Tuesday night in the Bay Area.

FULL INTERVIEW: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks race relations, Kaepernick protest in SF

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke before a packed house Tuesday at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. He talked politics, sports, race relations and all of that led to the topic of Colin Kaepernick.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat out the national anthem ahead of the team's game in Santa Clara, Calif. on Friday, August, 26, 2016.

Jennifer Lee Chan/SB Nation.

His seven foot two inch presence on stage was dynamic, but so were his words. Abdul-Jabbar is an NBA All Star turned activist.

"I think patriotism is about appreciating your country and trying to make it a better place," Abdul-Jabbar said.

That is what Abdul-Jabbar thinks Kaepernick was doing Friday, when he chose not to stand during the national anthem.

RELATED: NFL players react to Kaepernick's sitting out national anthem
The 49er quarterback did it to show his frustration over what he calls the oppression of minorities in America.

"Colin could have picked another place to make his statement, but he has the power of having so much attention focused on him as the quarterback of the 49ers, so he used that," Abdul-Jabbar said.

Abdul-Jabbar even wrote about Kaepernick's decision in an op-ed piece in today's Washington Post he wasn't the only one speaking out.

FULL INTERVIEW: 49ers QB Kaepernick responds to national anthem controversy

Eric Reid backed up his team mate.

"If you listen to what he's saying about the issues in this country, you have to respect that he's voicing his opinion, he's using this platform," Reid said.

Many at tonight's event agreed with Kaepernick's message.

VIDEO: 49ers coach talks preparing for Chargers game, weighs in on Kaepernick's anthem protest

"I thought it was good. I thought it took a lot of courage," said Thomas Robert Simpson in San Francisco.

Kaepernick takes the field next on Thursday.

Click here for full coverage on Colin Kaepernick, and click here for more stories and videos on the 49ers.
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