Rev. Jesse Jackson in Detroit discusses Trump's statements about national anthem protests

By John Steckroth - Editor

DETROIT - Rev. Jesse Jackson held a news conference Monday afternoon in Detroit to discuss President Donald Trump’s statements about national anthem protests.

“We applaud the NFL players, coaches, owners and fans for standing up Sunday for free speech and justice,” Jackson said in a statement. “Your rights as an American citizen don’t end when you step on a football field. President Trump’s crude name calling is beneath the dignity of the office – way, way below. Attacking a citizen for expressing his or her political opinions in a legal, peaceful, non-violent fashion as Colin Kaepernick did last season is a chilling commentary on the current state of affairs and discourse in Washington. We the people deserve so much better than this.”

Jackson called Trump’s statements “attacks on free speech and the First Amendment.

Jackson also spoke briefly about voter suppression in the 2016 election.


Detroiter Rico Lavelle, who sang the national anthem Sunday at the Detroit Lions' game, added a new layer to pregame protests around the league. Just before finishing the song and belting out "brave," Lavelle went down on his right knee, bowed his head and raised his right fist wrapped around the microphone.

READ: Detroit artist kneels while singing national anthem at Lions game

Eight Lions and two Falcons also took a knee on the sideline as owners for both teams locked arms with players and coaches.

RELATED: Falcons hold on to beat Lions 30-26 thanks to NFL rule

NATIONAL: NFL players, owners denounce Trump's rant

Trump's tweets

From this past weekend:

From 2013:

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