Former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz called out NFL players who protested during the national anthem Monday and said their actions were “disgusting” and disrespectful on “Fox and Friends.”
“It’s disgusting. Here they’re playing the national anthem. Americans are going over to play football and they kneel for the national anthem, and they stand for ‘God Save The Queen?’ I mean what is wrong with these people?” he said. “I tell you that one Pittsburgh Steeler, get a copy of his jersey because he’s doing the right thing standing with the flag”
Chafftez was referring to 28-year-old Alejandro Villanueva who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star with valor. While his teammates remained in the locker room to protest, Villanueva stood alone in the tunnel with his hand over his heart.
“Standing for the flag, standing for the national anthem. This is where President Trump is on this. I think that’s where America is on this. And God bless him [Villanueva] for actually doing it, because I think he represented the United States the way we all want to be represented,” Chaffetz said.
The former Utah congressman said sports should not be politicized because most people watch football to relax and forget about the grind of everyday life.
“Sports is something that I don’t want to get politics engaged in. I want to go there. I don’t care where you are on the political spectrum, I want to go in enjoy a game and root for a team. And I think it’s disgusting what they’re doing,” he said.
Chaffetz echoed president Trump and said players should exercise their right to free speech on their own time, out of respect to the flag and those who have served.
“If you want to when you’re off the field on your own time be involved in something, great. Go ahead and do that. But when they’re playing the national anthem, I don’t care who you are, where you are, you stand and you give respect,” he said. “For those men and women, the millions of people who have served this nation.”
“Fans are speaking with their dollars and their eyeballs. They’re not watching as much football. They’re not going to as many games … there is a disgusting element to people who won’t respect the flag that Americans are going to speak with their wallets and their eyeballs,” he concluded.
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