The New York Daily News reported that three New York Giants football players, one of whom is an advocate for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, said that they respect the American flag and the national anthem due to their own optimism about the future of America and the sacrifices that American servicemen and women have made for the country:
Victor Cruz and Justin Pugh, two of the Giants’ most prominent players, were able on Saturday to appreciate Colin Kaepernick’s right to free speech while simultaneously disagreeing with the 49ers quarterback’s decision to not stand for the national anthem on Friday night.
“Regardless of how you feel about the things that are going on in America today and the things that are going on across the world with gun violence and things of that nature, you’ve got to respect the flag,” Cruz said. “And you’ve got to stand up with your teammates. It’s bigger than just you, in my opinion. I think you go up there, you’re with a team and you go and you pledge your allegiance to the flag and you sing the national anthem with your team. And then you go about your business, whatever your beliefs are…
Pugh, whose brother is in the military stationed currently at McGuire Air Force Base, tweeted on Saturday in protest “I will be STANDING during the National Anthem Tonight. Thank you to ALL (Gender, Race, Religion) that put your lives on the line for that flag.”
Rashad Jennings, who plays running back for the Giants and openly supports the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, said the following, per the New York Daily News:
“I’m an optimist. I figure if it was the intention of our founding fathers to keep America a nation of slaves, then it wouldn’t have chosen a song where all four verses end with ‘the land of the FREE and the home of the brave’ instead of ‘land of the free, home of the SLAVE.’
“Hey! I wish they would have kept verse four in, which says that heaven rescued us, God’s power preserved us and in God is our trust. But we don’t always get what we want, do we? I’m a black man who is free to achieve my dreams because I live in America and trust in God.”
Photo by Virginia Guard Public Affairs