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.
Eight Lions and two Falcons also took a knee on the sideline as owners for both teams locked arms with players and coaches.
From this past weekend:
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! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won't put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag - they said it loud and clear! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Courageous Patriots have fought and died for our great American Flag --- we MUST honor and respect it! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
...NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Roger Goodell of NFL just put out a statement trying to justify the total disrespect certain players show to our country.Tell them to stand! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
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.... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
...our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2017
President should not be telling the Washington Redskins to change their name-our country has far bigger problems! FOCUS on them,not nonsense — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2013
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