The Democrat is urging the San Francisco 49ers footballer, who's sitting out the anthem at games to protest race relations in America, to get to his feet in honor of the 15th anniversary of the attacks.
“The appropriate thing to do would be to suspend any protests that could be misinterpreted on one of the most solemn days of the country, where we lost almost 3,000 Americans,” Jeffries, widely considered a rising star in the Democratic party, said on the ESPN/ABC News podcast Capital Games this week.
Kaepernick, the backup quarterback for the 49ers, has refused to stand for the national anthem before preseason games, saying he won't pay tribute to a country that oppresses black people.
His decision has sparked a firestorm of criticism from veterans, law-enforcement officers and politicians across the country.
Jeffries — who has been an outspoken critic of NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and aggressively pushed for a national ban on chokeholds following the death of Eric Garner — said he supports Kaepernick’s right to protest the anthem.
But this weekend is not the right time to make a statement, he said.
“That is a particularly unique moment,” said Jeffries.
While most NFL teams begin their seasons on Sunday, the 49ers don’t play until Monday night, which is actually Sept. 12.
Jeffries said his viewpoint is still the same.
“Every time I’m on the floor of the House of Representatives, I pledge allegiance to the flag,” he said.
“And I will continue to stand for the national anthem wherever it may be played.”