Indiana Lawmakers Share Thoughts On Athletes Kneeling During National Anthem
By Travis Thayer
(Left to right): Senator Joe Donnelly, State Rep. Todd Rokita, and State Rep Luke Messer.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana lawmakers are weighing in on the ongoing criticism of NFL players who kneel, sit, or don’t show up during the national anthem.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the trend of kneeling during the national anthem last season in an attempt to raise awareness about racial inequalities in the nation and the slayings of unarmed African-Americans by police.
The Indianapolis Star reports that State Representatives Todd Rokita and Luke Messer are backing the sentiments of President Trump, that athletes should quote-on-quote do what’s right and stand and honor the U.S. during the playing of the national anthem.
President Trump had some harsh words for protesting players this past week, calling them names and advocating that they should be released or fired from their respective teams.
Rokita took to Facebook yesterday morning to share his thoughts, saying “President Trump’s comments about NFL players who kneel during the national anthem needed to be said.”
He added that kneeling players only fuel division throughout the country.
Indiana Congressman Luke Messer issued a similar statement via Twitter.
Stand for the national anthem. @realDonaldTrump is right. Athletes should stand and honor our great country.
— Luke Messer (@LukeMesserIN) September 23, 2017
The two, who often don’t see eye to eye on many things, are seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly next year.
Donnelly took a different stance saying that he would choose to stand for the anthem, but he also pointed out that he believes most of the kneeling players are men who care about and are involved in their communities.
As for the area teams, the Cincinnati Bengals chose to stand with locked arms on Sunday, while a group of Indianapolis Colts chose to kneel during the national anthem.