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Zeldin Again Takes on NFL Player Protests

Tells players to ‘stand up and show some respect’

 Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., told NFL players to "stand up and show some respect" instead of kneeling for the national anthem. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
 Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., told NFL players to "stand up and show some respect" instead of kneeling for the national anthem. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Lee Zeldin is again taking on professional football players who protest during the National Anthem, telling them to “stand up and show some respect.”

The Republican, who served in the U.S. Army, posted an image of former San Francisco 49ers players Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid kneeling while showing soldiers holding them up.

“On the shoulders, blood, service, and sacrifice of true giants,” he said. “Stand up and show some respect for your right to live in the greatest nation on earth and make a fortune playing a football game.”

President Donald Trump continued his attacks on NFL players protesting racial injustice after the first round of NFL pre-season games last week in which several players took a knee or raised a fist in protest during the anthem. And this is not the first time Zeldin commented on NFL players kneeling, which Kapernick began doing in 2016 to protest police violence against African-Americans.

After a bombing in New York City, Zeldin tweeted that the victim was in custody before saying “You’re welcome, Colin Kaepernick.”

He also previously praised Pittsburgh Steelers player Alejando Villanueva in 2017 for coming out to stand for the anthem last year when the rest of the team stayed in the locker room. 

“These spoiled rich brats may think they are being cool and trendy, but they obviously have no true understanding what that anthem and flag mean to our service members, their families, and countless other Americans,” he said at the time. “If they did, they would be standing next to Alejandro Villaneuva and thanking every day every last man and woman who keeps them safe and free.”

The Steelers players stayed in their locker room to protest Trump saying that if a player protested during the National Anthem the NFL should “get that son of a bitch off the field.”

Zeldin represents a district rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

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