Charlie Daniels is never afraid to speak his mind when it comes to political matters, and he’s got a lot of thoughts on the current controversy surrounding NFL athletes kneeling during the national anthem.
During an interview with nationally syndicated radio show “Big D & Bubba,” Charlie said, “I think it’s the wrong venue to do what they’re doing. I happen to know a lot of veterans, a lot of people who have put their lives on the line for this country that take it as a personal insult. At a ballgame, you’ve got, usually, a color guard or a flyover or something to do with the military. A lot of times these guys are standing on the field, and the flag is out, and those people show disrespect for it by kneeling down.”
Before we dive further into Charlie’s comments, let’s review the situation. Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick first made headlines when he started kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality and general oppression of African-Americans. The issue of players kneeling during the anthem wasn’t getting all that much attention until last week when President Trump brought it up during a speech in Alabama.
The president suggested that NFL fans should leave the stadium when players take a knee to protest during the anthem. Trump also said the NFL should penalize the kneeling players by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!”
In the wake of those comments, many NFL players either took a knee or locked arms in solidarity with the cause during the anthem prior to Sunday’s games, and some team owners denounced Trump’s comments publicly. Charlie Daniels is a season ticket holder for Nashville’s NFL team, the Tennessee Titans, and that team opted to stay in the locker room during the anthem on Sept. 24.
Since he pays a lot of money for tickets to the games, Charlie thinks it’s highly inappropriate for the players to protest in that way.
Charlie told Big D & Bubba, “I resent anything but football going on for the price of those tickets. I love the Titans, but I love America more. I will not stand by and see America insulted and belittled.”
He continued, “If they’ve got something to protest, and I’m not saying they don’t, I just think it’s the wrong venue to do it. You’ve got guys [making] 15, 20 million dollars a year that can’t find something good about this country to celebrate when they’re playing the national anthem. I don’t understand it.”
Charlie predicted that the NFL wouldn’t allow the protests to continue if they start impacting the revenue coming in from the games and TV deals.
“It just hasn’t hit ’em in the pocketbook yet,” Charlie said. “That’s the bottom line of this whole thing. It’s all about money. They’re in business to make money. The television people who broadcast these ball games are in the business to make money. As soon as that starts hitting their bottom line in a big enough way, you’ll see a big change. You’ll see policy changes. You’ll see something done about this.”