‘I will always respect the flag’ – NFL legend Jim Brown on anthem protests
The 82-year-old Hall of Famer, who has dedicated much of his post-NFL career to social justice activism, stressed that he respects players’ rights to express themselves, adding however that he would prefer for them to stand for the ‘Star-Spangled Banner.’
“I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag,” Brown was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
“I am not going to denigrate my flag and I’m going to stand for the national anthem,” the legendary running back said when asked how he would resolve the anthem problem surrounding the league.
“I’m fighting with all of my strength to make it a better country, but I don’t think that’s the issue. Because what is the top side? Are you not going to stand up? This is our country, man.
“We work hard to make it better and that’s my attitude, so I don’t relate to this issue because it’s newsworthy because where are your superstars? And where are they at? Aren’t they making comments?”
The anthem protest issue, which had been among the most highly-debated problems in the league last year, reignited in July after it was reported that the Miami Dolphins planned to suspend protesting players for up to four games under a new team policy.
In the wake of the news, the NFL and NFL Players Association made a joint statement saying that no anthem-related team policies will be enforced for the next several weeks as part of a standstill agreement between the two sides.