An Army veteran who took a knee with a folded flag as President Trump’s motorcade passed by him on Wednesday says the president's criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem is “totally wrong.”
Marvin Boatright told The Huffington Post that he hoped someone in Trump’s motorcade would notice him kneeling while wearing an American Legion hat and holding a folded flag as the motorcade passed by en route to Trump's speech on tax reform.
“For the commander-in-chief to call our citizens ‘sons of a bitches’ was totally wrong and beneath the dignity of the office that he holds,” Boatright told the Post.
A photo of Boatright kneeling went viral Thursday on Twitter.
A man kneels with a folded U.S. flag as the POTUS motorcade passes him in Indianapolis. (Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst) pic.twitter.com/KrBlzhauai— Colin Campbell (@colincampbell) September 28, 2017
Boatright said veterans “love this country” but also “love life and liberty for all humanity.”
“As a veteran, and as an African-American, we have already and we continue to serve for God and country,” he told The Huffington Post. “But you can have a love of God and country and still be against social injustice. You don’t have to separate one from the other.”
The Army veteran also said NFL players’ protests “were never about disrespecting our nation or the flag,” but were about making important issues “visible through sports.”
“The kneeling was to bring dramatization to the disappointment that we have seen throughout our country as it relates to those who have been killed by our various police departments,” he said.
Dozens of NFL players took a knee when the national anthem played at games last weekend after President Trump called on NFL owners to fire players who kneel during the anthem and referred to the players as “sons of bitches.”
Trump has continued to double down on his comments, saying the NFL must change or its “business is going to go to hell” and calling on the league to ban players from kneeling during the anthem.