Senate GOP candidate Corey Stewart called kneeling football players ‘thugs’

Senate GOP candidate Corey Stewart called kneeling football players ‘thugs’
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Corey Stewart, Virginia's Republican nominee for the Senate, in 2017 said some of the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem were "thugs" who "are beating up their girlfriends and their wives."

Stewart, in a video posted in September 2017 on his Facebook page, added NFL players were also "womanizers" and were not appropriate role models for children.

"A lot of these guys, I mean, they're thugs, they are beating up their girlfriends and their wives. You know, they've got, you know, children all over the place that they don't pay attention to, don't father, with many different women, they are womanizers," Stewart said in the video. 

"These are not people that we should have our sons, or any of our children look up to. We need to have our children look up to real role models,” he also said.

The video shows Stewart addressing the camera in a nearly 49-minute long Facebook Live stream. 

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 Stewart defended his criticism of protesting NFL players, telling The Hill, “I think we should put a parental disclaimer at the beginning of every NFL game” and that players’ “on-field and off-field activities are not suitable for children under the age of 18.”

When asked how he thinks Virginia voters will interpret the video, he did not seem concerned.

“I think that Virginians are just disgusted by rampant political correctness that labels everybody a racist simply because they’re patriotic and they’re disgusted with NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem,” he said.

Stewart is challenging Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineNames to watch as Trump picks Ginsburg replacement on Supreme Court Barrett seen as a front-runner for Trump Supreme Court pick Biden promises Democratic senators help in battleground states MORE (D-Va.) for his seat. The Cook Political Report lists the race as “Solid Democratic.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE has harshly criticized football players who kneel during the national anthem as a sign of protest.

In July, Trump tweeted, “The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again - can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!”

-Updated 7:48 p.m.