Video of Beto O'Rourke defending protesting NFL players goes viral

A video showing Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke defending NFL players who kneel during the national anthem went viral Tuesday night.

In the video, Rep. O’Rourke is shown saying he “can think of nothing more American” than the protests, which he said was meant to bring attention to African-Americans who are "being killed at a frightening level right now, including by members of law enforcement without accountability and without justice."

The comments came in response to a question at a recent town hall about whether O’Rourke found the protests disrespectful.

“And this problem – as grave as it is – is not going to fix itself,” he said. “And they’re frustrated, frankly, with people like me and those in positions of public trust and power, who have been unable to resolve this or bring justice for what has been done and to stop it from continuing to happen in this country.”

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“And so non-violently, peacefully, while the eyes of this country are watching these games, they take a knee to bring our attention and our focus to this problem to ensure that we fix it,” he continued.

“That is why they are doing it. And I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee, for your rights, any time, anywhere, in any place.”

The video went viral days after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), O’Rourke’s opponent, brought attention to the comments by attacking O’Rourke for making them.

“When Beto O’Rourke says he can’t think of anything more American (than players taking a knee), well I got to tell you, I can,” Cruz said on Saturday during a campaign stop, according to The Caller Times. Cruz then reportedly went on to use members of the military as an example.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE has repeatedly attacked NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.