Lawmaker Interviews

WATCH: Kinzinger offended by kneeling, wants NFL to ban it

Rep. Adam Kinzinger "would love" for the NFL to bar players from kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

"I'm very offended by people that take a knee when the national anthem is played," the Illinois Republican said in an interview with The Hill.

"I would love to see the NFL put in a rule that says don't kneel for the national anthem. ... The national anthem isn't about righting wrongs - the country has wrongs and we should always try to right them. The national anthem, in my mind, is just simply about accepting and respecting the sacrifices so many people have put into making this a great country," the lawmaker, a current captain in the Air National Guard, says.

As Kinzinger, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, explains, "nobody's questioning" whether the players have a right to kneel.

"It's a First Amendment right," he said. "But look, for me, whenever I'm on active duty - which I was last week - in the military I couldn't publicly express a political opinion during that time; there are rules associated that still don't deny my First Amendment right."

Kinzinger, however, disagreed with President Trump's decision to weigh in on the controversy.

"I don't like the president injecting himself in it," Kinzinger says, adding, "My hope is this controversy kind of settles out and we get back to enjoying football ... but at the same time, this is up to the NFL and, hopefully, the president disengages on this issue."

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