Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) knelt Monday evening on the House floor in solidarity with the NFL players who refused to stand for the National Anthem in protest of President Trump’s remarks saying that those who engage in that form of protest should be fired. She called Trump’s remarks “racism” and said “there is no basis in the First Amendment that says that you cannot kneel on the National Anthem or in front of the flag.”
At a Luther Strange rally Friday, Trump said that the NFL should respond to players who kneel for the Anthem by saying, "Get that son of a b*tch off the field right now, he's fired. He's fired!"
"For a week, (that owner would) be the most popular person in this country. Because that's a total disrespect of our heritage. That's a total disrespect for everything we stand for," Trump said.
“We simply ask for the dignity and respect to not call our mothers a son of a b,” Rep. Jackson-Lee said in her floor speech, “I refuse to accept that as a standard of leadership from the highest office in the world."
“There is no basis in the First Amendment that says that you cannot kneel on the national anthem or in front of the flag,” she emphasized. “There is no regulation that says that these young men cannot stand against the dishonoring of their mothers by you calling them, ‘fire the son of a b.’”
"That is racism. You cannot deny it, you cannot run for it, and I kneel in honor of them," she said, and dropped to her knees. "I kneel in honor of the First Amendment. I kneel because the flag is a symbol for freedom. I kneel because I'm going to stand against racism. I kneel because I will stand with those young men, and I'll stand with our soldiers, and I'll stand with America.”
Refusing to stand during the anthem is not a popular form of protest among many of the NFL's viewers, a recent study found that 34 percent of Americans are less likely to watch NFL games due to the protests.
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem last year as a protest of police brutality.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an interview at the time. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."