Kaepernick's new Nike partnership set off a debate on Huntsman's first day.
In her first morning as one of the show's new full-time cohosts, she faced opposition from Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin and Joy Behar, who all believed in Kaepernick's right to protest the treatment of minorities by police officers in the United States.
"The question is, if speaking out is part of your right as an American, and you're actually doing your job, you're not taking time away from your job, is Nike taking a risk using Kaepernick?" asked Whoopi, setting up the conversation.
"I think they're taking a stand and I love that," said Sunny.
When Behar brought up how some are protesting his protest by burning Nike sneakers, Huntsman said the backlash could escalate.
"I think they're going to do more than just burn sneakers though. You have to remember, this is an issue that divides this country almost more than anything else that we've talked about in the past year," she said.
"You've got 54% that aren't in favor of players kneeling during the national anthem, I come from a military family, so I fall in that camp, but Nike's taking a risk here," she continued, citing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. "In their mind, it obviously makes headlines, everyone's talking about it, but ultimately you are alienating a number of folks that would normally buy your brand and I have a feeling, if I know folks that are protesting this, they're not going to buy Nike. They're going to go to Reebok."
"Another part of that poll, Abby, is that 83% of African Americans -- a huge component of Nike -- are in support of Kaepernick, are in support of this Nike ad and you have half of the country that will continue to buy," Hostin interjected. "In fact, I'm going to go buy some more Nike stuff!"
"This administration has bastardized, not only the constitution, but also what Colin Kaepernick is fighting for," she continued. "He is kneeling, with consultation with a green beret, because that green beret, he explained that when you fight for the honor of that country, it is respectful to kneel before the flag just like you kneel before you fallen brothers."
"They aren't kneeling out of respect though," said Huntsman. "Oh yes, they are," Hostin responded before Whoopi had to throw to a commercial.
The conversation continued when they returned, as Huntsman shared one of her concerns about the debate.
"What I worry about, is if you are on the side of feeling it's disrespectful to kneel during the anthem, that somehow you're racist, or somehow you're not in favor of bettering this country and finding equality and common ground," she said. "I think there's a better way to talk about it as Americans to say, how can we make progress?"
The women agreed that Huntsman's beliefs aren't racist, before Goldberg shared how she thinks the conversation could move forward.
"The flag does not cover everyone the same way and a lot of these players, they also come from military families, they also love their country," she said. "They also feel like they have something to say and this is the way they can do it. They're not being disrespectful, what they're saying is please, this flag, our flag, needs to cover everybody. We all need to be seen under this. and whether you agree or not, you must see that people are saying we're having an issue here."
"What will help is if people can stop saying, 'You're disrespectful,' and say, 'I get it, I don't know that this is the way I would do it, but I understand what you're saying,'" she added. "That will do this [brings fists together]."