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Former “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson believes that kneeling during the National Anthem at sporting events is “un-American.”
During an episode of the Facebook Watch series “At Home With the Robertsons,” Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, sat down for a discussion with current and former NFL players Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, and Nate Boyer where they debated about the American flag protests that former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked in 2016. At the time, Kaepernick stated he was kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality. Korie Robertson said she understood the protests in the context of police brutality in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy.
“The guys made the point that this is not hating America,” she said. “This is a specific protest about police brutality and injustice against Black people. Once that came out and that message was kind of understood, people were more accepting of it, where at first it just felt like a total, just like, rejection of America and the values that we hold.”
Willie Robertson, however, believed that the games were not a place of protest, though he supported players wearing a logo for a cause of their choice.
“Personally, I don’t have a problem if someone wants to wear a logo or something,” he said, as reported by Fox News. “It’s when they got to the flag, of choosing that exact time to make your protest, I just felt like the flag should really bring us together… yeah, that just feels a little un-American.”
“I understand, though, wanting to change for sure,” he later added. “It’s just like, is that the best time? You know? The flag and even, for me, football. When I watch football, I don’t want to be thinking about who the president is and what the politics are. I just want to watch either my favorite team or two teams go after it.”
Michael Thomas countered Willie’s claims by saying the protests were meant to take a stand for people in their community.
“Everybody who took a knee, everybody who was fighting for social justice and using their voice and platform,” said Thomas. “We were just trying to say, ‘Look, if we’re looked at as leaders in our community, and we can talk about, you know, stopping domestic violence; we can talk about, like, you know, raising awareness for cancer, anti-bullying and stuff like that, when it comes to issues in the African American community, why can’t we be the leaders and the champions of that as well? And use our voice and platform and do it?'”
Korie agreed and said that protesting during the games was about people using their platform. “If you have a platform and there’s a chance for you to get eyeballs on it, and you have something that’s really important to you, that’s probably a good time to do it,” she said.