Alabama's Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore remarked on Wednesday that the NFL protests disrespect the rule of law. In making this comment, Moore comes to the defense of Donald Trump, who has publicly expressed that he thinks anybody who kneels during the national anthem should be fired.
"As a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran, I know what it means to stand for our flag, defend our country and advance the freedoms America represents around the world," Moore said in a statement, according to The Hill. "Kneeling during our national anthem not only demonstrates a lack of patriotism for our Country but a disrespect for the rule of law."
"Title 36 of the United States Code, Section 301 states that all persons present during the National Anthem 'should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart," Moore added.
Moore's comments come after NFL commissioner Roger Goodwell demanded that players stand during the anthem. Goodwell's demand came not long after President Trump remarked that "it is about time" that the commissioner makes the announcement.
The NFL has been criticized for national anthem protests since former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during a 2016 preseason game. Kaepernick claimed he was protesting racial injustice and police brutality. Trump has long been upset about the NFL protests, believing that they are disrespectful to both the flag and the troops.
Trump's comment seemed to escalate the controversy. Beforehand the issue was mainly talked about only in the conservative news media. But now NFL protests seem to be the most widespread news story of the week. And on top of that, the NFL protests themselves seem to be dramatically escalating. Players started kneeling at games during the anthem, with some teams choosing to skip it altogether.
The controversy over kneeling during the national anthem was significantly escalated after President Trump said in a rally for Moore's primary opponent in September that any person who doesn't stand during the national anthem should be fired.
“I have so many friends that are owners,” Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast Thursday. “They’re in a box. I mean I’ve spoken to a couple of them. They say we are in a situation where we have to do something.”
“I think they’re afraid of their players, you want to know the truth. And I think it’s disgraceful,” he continued.
Trump has continued to double down on his comments in recent weeks. In fact, Vice President Mike Pence also stirred up controversy after his highly covered exit from an Indianapolis Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers, who knelt during the national anthem. Pence remarked that he wouldn't dignify an event where people disrespected the anthem or U.S. veterans.
In breaking news, the Boy Scouts of America just made a Controversial Announcement.