Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday waded into the cultural debate over some NFL players’ kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
The Republican wrote on Facebook that the American flag “brings real patriots to their feet, not their knees.”
President Donald Trump and others have been highly critical of NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem before games.
Not standing during the anthem gained nationwide attention last year due to Colin Kaepernick, then with the San Francisco 49ers. Kapernick told NFL Media at the time: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
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The form of protest became even more prominent in the NFL last month after vocal criticism from Trump.
Greitens, who served as a Navy SEAL, also reflected on his military teaching in the Facebook post.
“When people refuse to stand for the flag, they make that moment about them,” Greitens wrote. “It's a shame that some people would use our country's greatest symbol of selfless service for a selfish act.”