Alabama's Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore on Wednesday decried protests at NFL games, saying that kneeling during the national anthem is "a disrespect for the rule of law."
"As a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran, I know what it means to stand for our flag, defend our country and advance the freedoms America represents around the world," Moore said in a statement. "Kneeling during our national anthem not only demonstrates a lack of patriotism for our Country but a disrespect for the rule of law."
Moore's comments come amid an ongoing dispute over NFL players who kneel during the anthem. On Wednesday morning, the NFL hit back at reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was "demanding" that players stand during the anthem, not long after President Trump tweeted that "it is about time" that Goodell started doing so.
The protests against racial injustice spread throughout the NFL in September after Trump said at a rally for Moore's primary opponent that any players who disrespect the nation and its flag by kneeling during the anthem should be fired.
Trump continued to double down on his criticism of the kneeling players after protests swept the NFL in the following weeks.
Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceHaley has 'positive' meeting with Trump Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mitch McConnell's great Trumpian miscalculation MORE also stirred up controversy in his highly-publicized exit from an Indianapolis Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers, who knelt during the anthem, saying he would not "dignify" an event where people disrespected the anthem or U.S. veterans.
"Title 36 of the United States Code, Section 301 states that all persons present during the National Anthem 'should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart," Moore added, and said that he supports the shared position of Trump and Pence for Americans to honor the anthem in a tribute to slain veterans.