Bevin calls athlete protests during national anthem "disgusting"

09/27/2016 12:18 PM

FRANKFORT — Gov. Matt Bevin called recent protests by professional athletes during the national anthem to bring attention to what they say are racial inequalities and injustices taking place in America, including police-related violence, “disgusting.”

The protests began last month in a preseason NFL game when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee while the national anthem was played.

Kapernick has been joined by other NFL players in the weeks that followed as well as professional athletes from other sports, including college players.

“I think it’s disgusting, frankly,” Bevin said Monday. “I can appreciate the fact that people have freedom of speech, people can stand for, figuratively and literally, things that they choose to, but to use an opportunity to denigrate our nations flag — it’s not the flag and it’s not the national anthem itself, what it represents is the sacrifice of one and a half million Americans who died.”

In recent weeks the protests have filtered down to the high-school level.

On Sept. 9, Louisville Waggener junior running back and linebacker Tre Chappell took a knee during the national anthem before the Wildcats’ football game against Shawnee. Two weeks later, the entire team locked arms during the national anthem before the Wildcats offense took a knee on their first play against Atherton.

Bevin criticized school faculty and administrators for allowing their student athletes to protest.

“If you’re a superintendent, if you’re a principal, if you’re a high school coach, step up, set an example,” Bevin said. “For us to allow everybody to be free range chickens, to not encourage them to know what they are doing and what the impact is and what the denigration of respect is something that is the responsibility of the adults to communicate to these young people.”


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