Colin Kaepernick didn’t vote

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SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who helped ignite a firestorm of debate when he took to kneeling during the national anthem in order to protest what he claimed has been the country’s routine oppression of African Americans, didn’t vote on Tuesday.

In a conference call with reporters, Kaepernick said believed it did not matter to him whether Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton won the presidency.

“For me, it’s another face that’s going to be the face of that systematic oppression,” Kaepernick said. “And to me, it didn’t really matter who went in there, the system still remains intact that oppresses people of color.”

Kaepernick’s decision to bench himself on Election Day may signal a broader discontent with Clinton among black voters. Clues hinting of Clinton’s demise within a voting block that mobilized itself in droves to support Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 were apparent, such as the fact that a battleground state like Florida saw huge dips.

According to Dan Smith, a University of Florida political science professor who published early voter data on his blog, black Floridians accounted for 16 percent of initial early voting totals — down from 25 percent in 2012.

Kaepernick had expressed his distaste with both choices in September.

“Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist,” he told USA Today.

Sports commentators like ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith nonetheless hammered Kaepernick for sitting out the 2016 presidential election after making such a big deal about democracy and his right to protest.

“He absolutely betrayed his cause,” Smith, who is black, said of Kaepernick. “As far as I’m concerned, Colin Kaepernick is absolutely irrelevant — I don’t want to see him again, I don’t want to hear from him again, I don’t want to hear a damn word about anything he has to say about our nation, the issues that we have, racial injustices, needing change, et-cetera, et-cetera.

“He comes across as a flaming hypocrite as far as I’m concerned.”