Texas city passes resolution declaring Beto O’Rourke’s defense of NFL player protests ‘false’

Greg Nash

Leaders of a small Texas town passed a resolution declaring that it is “disrespectful” for NFL athletes and other protesters to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and that Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D) defense of the protests isn’t legitimate. 

“The City Council has declared that it is disrespectful toward, and dishonors the sacrifice of our veterans, service members, and first responders of the United States of America to kneel during the National Anthem, a time during which all should stand to recognize and honor the sacrifice they have made to our country,” the Reno City Council said in a resolution that was passed earlier this week, according to The Star-Telegram.

{mosads}The resolution also stated that O’Rourke’s comments on NFL players’ on-field demonstrations are “false.” 

O’Rourke, who is locked in a tight Senate race against Sen. Ted Cruz (R), has defended NFL players who elect to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. He’s also said that he “can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee, for your rights, anytime, anywhere, or any place.”

“The Reno City Council considers kneeling during the National Anthem of the United States of America not only un-American but to be one of the highest forms of disrespect anyone can show to the sacrifice and service of our country’s military members, veterans and first responders,” the resolution added. 

O’Rourke, in response to the resolution, expressed his gratitude for “everyone who has put their life on the line for this country.”

“I am grateful to everyone who has put their life on the line for this country, every member of law enforcement and every one of our first responders,” O’Rourke told the newspaper after the resolution was passed. “I am grateful to all who would engage in discussion and action to ensure the full civil rights of every American.”

Reno Mayor Eric Hunter has defended the move, arguing to The Star-Telegram that the only negative feedback the measure has received is probably from people who have “missed the point of what we are saying.” 

Hunter added in an email to The Hill that the resolution was intended to show how the city felt about O’Rourke’s comments. 
“My primary point was that Mr. [O’Rourke] is wrong, there are many other things one can do that is more American than showing such disrespect for our veterans and our country,” Hunter said.
“While it’s the right of anyone to kneel and I would defend that right, it’s also our right to state our opinion that their method of protest is disrespectful.  We have 4 veterans on our council including myself, and I think we would all agree on that point.”

The topic has became a major talking point in the Texas Senate race between O’Rourke and Cruz. After O’Rourke’s comments defending the protest went viral, Cruz targeted the three-term congressman in a political ad. 

“Nothing more American? Liberal Hollywood was thrilled. But do Texans agree?” the ad asked, before featuring Marine Corps Sgt. Tim Lee, a retired combat veteran, defending “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

A poll from CBS Dallas/Dixie Strategies released this week found that Cruz holds a narrow 4-point lead over O’Rourke. 

— Updated 6:10 p.m.

Tags Beto O'Rourke Ted Cruz

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