San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has become a key figure in a growing protest against racial inequality, had a harsh assessment of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump a day after the first presidential debate.

“To me, it was embarrassing to watch that these are our two candidates,” Kaepernick said Tuesday. “Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist. And at this point, talking with one of my friends, it was, you have to pick the lesser of two evils, but in the end, it’s still evil.”

Kaepernick also responded to a statement Trump made during an August radio interview in which he said Kaepernick’s anthem protest wasn’t “a good thing” and that the athlete might want to find a country that works better for him.

Kaepernick said it was “a very ignorant statement, that if you don’t agree with what’s going on here and that if you want justice and liberty and freedom for all that you should leave the country.”

Center gone for year

The Washington Redskins put center Kory Lichtensteiger on injured reserve with an injured calf and signed free agent center John Sullivan.

As part of a flurry of moves Tuesday, the Redskins moved offensive lineman Vinston Painter from their practice squad to their active roster, signed cornerback Tye Smith to their practice squad and released linebacker Amarlo Herrera from their practice squad.

Lichtensteiger was one of several Redskins hurt during Sunday’s 29-27 victory over the New York Giants. Another was safety DeAngelo Hall, who went on IR with a torn ligament in his right knee.

Panthers sign safety

The Panthers signed safety Michael Griffin and defensive tackle Kyle Love to one-year contracts.

To make room on the roster, the Panthers waived safety Marcus Ball and placed defensive end Ryan Delaire on injured reserve Tuesday with a knee injury.

A former first-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans, the 6-foot, 215-pound Griffin was named to the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2010. He spent nine seasons with Tennessee before signing with Minnesota. However, he was waived by the Vikings on Sept. 7.

Griffin has played in 141 career regular season games with 133 starts, registering 607 tackles, seven sacks, 25 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles.

Love played in 15 regular season games with two starts and registered 19 tackles, including three sacks last season for Carolina.

Pass rusher sidelined

The Indianapolis Colts put outside linebacker Trent Cole on injured reserve Tuesday.

Cole is in the final year of a two-year deal he signed last season and had been dealing with an injured back. He has 88½ career sacks.