Vikings legend Bud Grant tempers earlier criticism of NFL anthem protests

What Kaepernick did has unfold all through the NFL within the wake of feedback by President Donald Trump. Throughout a rally Friday, Sept. 22, in Huntsville, Alabama, the president stated league house owners ought to get any “son of a (expletive) off the sector” for not standing through the anthem, resulting in dozens of NFL gamers kneeling throughout “The Star-Spangled Banner” final weekend.

Grant, ninety, was requested how he felt concerning the protests a yr after his feedback on Kaepernick, now an unsigned free agent.

“They have each proper to do it,” stated Grant, who coached the Vikings from 1967-eighty three and once more in 1985. “This can be a free nation. This nation was based on freedom of expression, however all these folks that got here from Sweden or Eire or Spain or France and settled this nation, all stood beneath that flag for a lot of, many, a few years.

“And now to have someone, whether or not it is a disrespect for the flag or the nationwide anthem or no matter trigger they’ve of their craw, I do not (know), in the event you took a ballot, how many individuals would favor that.”

Grant, although, stated he realizes the protests won’t essentially need to do with disrespect for the flag.

“To me, it is disrespectful, however I do not know that they are doing it in that vein,” he stated. “They’re making an attempt to ship one other message by way of that conduit. I do not assume they personally exit and say, ‘I don’t just like the flag. I don’t like this nation.’

“We’re a free nation. We will categorical ourselves any method we would like. We won’t be taken to jail. We won’t be taken out and shot like in some nations.”

All in all, Grant most popular what the Vikings did earlier than final Sunday’s 34-17 victory over Tampa Bay at U.S. Financial institution Stadium. Vikings gamers stood through the anthem whereas locking arms with teammates, basic supervisor Rick Spielman and house owners Zygi and Mark Wilf.

“They’re unified; that is the primary factor,” Grant stated. “We’re unified. We do not have to spit on the flag to make some extent.”

The Pioneer Press is a Discussion board Information Service media companion.

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