Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke on NFL players kneeling peacefully: 'I can think of nothing more American’

By Scooby Axson
August 22, 2018

A Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Texas says that there is "nothing more American” than peacefully protesting for your rights in response to NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial inequality in America. A video of his speech was share by NowThis.

Beto O'Rourke, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz responded to a question on whether he thought NFL players kneeling during the anthem was disrespectful.

“My short answer is no, I don't think it's disrespectful," O’Rourke said. "Here's my longer answer but I'm gonna try to make sure that I get this right because I think it's a really important question. And reasonable people can disagree on this issue. Let's begin there. And it makes them no less American to come down on a different conclusion on this issue, right?"

"Peaceful, non-violent protests, including taking a knee at a football game to point out that Black men, unarmed, Black teenagers, unarmed and Black children, unarmed, are being killed at a frightening level right now, including by members of law enforcement, without accountability, and without justice," he added. "And this problem – as grave as it is – is not gonna fix itself and they're frustrated, frankly, with people like me, and those in positions of public trust and power, who have been unable to resolve this or bring justice for what has been done and to stop it from continuing to happen in this country. And so non-violently, peacefully, while the eyes of this country are watching these games, they take a knee to bring our attention and our focus to this problem to ensure that we fix it. That is why they are doing it. And I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee, for your rights, any time, anywhere, in any place.”

Notable figures in the sports world took notice of O'Rourke's world:

President Donald Trump continued his assault on the NFL by taking notice of ESPN deciding not to air the national anthem before their games.

"You’re proud of our country, you’re proud of our history, and unlike the NFL, you always honor and cherish our great American flag,” Trump said during a rally in West Virginia. “It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they’ve decided that they just won’t broadcast when they play the national anthem. We don’t like that.”

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