SAN FRANCISCO --President Barack Obama says San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is "exercising his constitutional right" not to stand for the national anthem.
RELATED: Colin Kaepernick jersey now best seller at 49ers online store
"As a general matter, when it comes to the flag and the national anthem and the meaning that, that holds for our men and women in uniform and those who fought for us. That is a tough thing for them to get past," said Obama.
The president went on to say Kaepernick's actions have sparked a productive national discourse. Kaepernick has been kneeling or sitting during the anthem to protest racial injustice and minority oppression.
RELATED: Supporters react after Kaepernick was no-show at SF church
Also notable during the G20 summit, President Obama met with Russian President Vladamir Putin on the strategy in war torn Syria, which holds several ISIS strongholds.
The two leaders did not come to an agreement, but promised to keep talking.
FULL INTERVIEW: 49ers QB Kaepernick responds to national anthem controversy
Click here for full coverage on Colin Kaepernick, and click here for more stories and videos on the 49ers.