(CNN) -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn't hold back Tuesday when he was asked by CNN about the first presidential debate.
"To me, it was embarrassing to watch," he told reporters in a locker room interview. "Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they're trying to debate who's less racist."
Kaepernick's decision this NFL season to kneel during the national anthem to raise awareness about racial issues landed him on the cover of TIME Magazine last week. His protest has inspired a growing number of other athletes to join him. The protests, and a new series of police shootings of black men, have helped reignite a national conversation on race.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said Kaepernick's silent demonstration is "a terrible thing."
"Maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it won't happen," Trump told a conservative Seattle radio talk show last month.
When CNN's Dan Simon asked about those comments Tuesday, Kaepernick said they are "ignorant," and called out Trump's campaign slogan.
"He always says, 'Make America great again.' Well, America has never been great for people of color and that's something that needs to be addressed. Let's make America great for the first time.