A WWII veteran defended the slew of NFL protests that began over the weekend, taking a knee with the players out of what he said was love and solidarity.
Following Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protests roughly a year ago, nearly 200 NFL players from around the nation sat or knelt during the national anthem Sunday in protest of Trump’s tweet that coaches should get rid of players who disrespect the American flag. (RELATED: Steelers Coach Didn’t Want Army Vet To Stand For Anthem).
While many army vets were on Trump’s side, 97-year-old WWII vet John Middlemas felt differently, saying that “those kids have every right to protest.” His grandson tweeted a photo of Middlemas and his statement, and the tweet quickly went viral.
“I’m trying to say that you have to love everybody,” Middlemas told News-Leader. “We don’t kill people. We want to make people live.”
His tweet and the NFL protests come in reaction to Trump’s statements that NFL players should find a different career if they don’t honor the nation’s flag. “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect… our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
A few hours after the Middlemas tweet was posted, Trump tweeted that we must respect the patriots who have fought and died for our flag.
“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” Trump added.
“I wanted to communicate what I always told to my grand-kids and everybody else,” Middlemas said. “When they’d go to bed at night, we’d tell the kids we wanted to be like Jesus.”
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