Stephen Colbert made a brilliant point about Colin Kaepernick and the national anthem


Colin Kaepernick's choice to protest inequality in the U.S. by sitting out the pre-game playing of the national anthem hasn't gone unnoticed by late night hosts. On Wednesday's episode of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert had a typically fiery take on the controversy surrounding Kaepernick.

Both Kaepernick's protest and angry fans' protests of Kaepernick's protest are constitutional rights, Colbert said, calling it a "win-win."


But then, Colbert launched into the actual history of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at sporting events and pointed out something interesting: The national anthem wasn't actually a tradition until the Cubs played it during the seventh-inning-stretch at a game in 1918. 

The crowd at that 1918 game got fired up — so fired up, in fact, that the Cubs tried playing it again the next day, and the next day. Attendance shot up from 19,000 to 27,000. 

"The story proves that playing the national anthem at games is the most American thing of all — marketing," Colbert said.


So if the national anthem is only a tradition at sporting events because it put more people in the seats, then maybe it isn't all that offensive that Kaepernick is sitting it out, Colbert explained.


Apparently the shallow history of the national anthem and sports, Kaepernick's protest and the protests of Kaepernick's protest are all as American as a big, messy apple pie.

Watch the whole clip below: