After discussing with NFL players about the merits of kneeling during the national anthem, former “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson said that he will still stand for the moment and did not begrudge anyone who felt differently.
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. As the conversation unfolded, Robertson stated that he believed that standing for the flag should not be a divisive issue.
“Personally, I don’t have a problem if someone wants to wear a logo or something,” he said. “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?’”
Speaking with Fox News, Robertson said that having conversations with people of different opinions is a refreshing experience that has helped open his eyes.
“It’s not easy having these conversations and actually putting yourself out there, [but] I think Americans kind of want that,” Robertson said.
“It was really eye-opening,” Robertson said of the conversation about the national anthem.
As to his side of the argument, Robertson said he wanted to figure out the appropriate venue for protest.
“At what point is it appropriate to make your point? I just kind of wanted to dig into that,” Robertson said. “I would hope we could see the flag and realize even in our differences that it kind of pulls us together although, we see maybe it doesn’t. I’ll still stand [during the national anthem] cause that’s what I’m going to do and just because someone — especially our guests that came in — just because they don’t doesn’t make me dislike or hate them at all. I can understand it better.”
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