The topic of national anthem protests has been a hot issue recently after President Donald Trump bashed players who chose to disrespect the flag. Many have weighed in, including players, coaches, team owners, and celebrities.

But now, a sports legend has broken his silence on the issue. Derek Jeter, former New York Yankees captain and current chief executive officer and part owner of the Miami Marlins, was asked about the national anthem protests and if he would participate, and he responded, according to the New York Daily News:

“Would I? I’m not playing. The thing that I think is frustrating, this whole rhetoric that is going back and forth. People lose sight of the fact of why someone was kneeling.

They’re focused so much on the fact that they are kneeling as opposed to what they’re kneeling for. Peaceful protests are fine. You have your right to voice your opinion. As long as it’s a peaceful protest, everyone should be fine with that.”

The Daily News added some context:

Of course, one of Jeter’s other business ventures is the Players’ Tribune, his website that allows former and current athletes to voice their unfiltered views. Many of The Players’ Tribune contributors have written about social issues, so it would have been unusual for Jeter to say he is opposed to athletes taking a knee during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Twitter reacted accordingly:

The national anthem protests have made their way into Major League Baseball as Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first MLB player to protest the national anthem when he knelt prior to their game against the Texas Rangers in September.

Before the game, Maxwell posted the following to Instagram with the caption:

“Yeah f**k this guy! Our president speaks of inequality of man because players are protesting the anthem! F**k this man! Seriously on the highest platform for our country expressing that it is OK for there to be Division of man and rights!”

Maxwell is the son of a U.S. Army veteran and was born on a military base. While protests in the MLB have occurred, they have not reached a point anywhere near the NFL.

View Comments(6 comments)
Bill Givens(4 likes)People do have rights, but there is a time and place for everything. You have a right to free speech but not to yell, “fire” in a theater. You see, businesses, cities, states, and the NFL have rules. That is how we operate in this country to keep people safe and to have some order in society. One of the rules of the NFL is to line up , put your hand over your heart while the National Anthem is being played. Players should be mature enough to devote this two minute period to the land that allows the freedoms we enjoy. The kneelers say they aren’t disrespecting our soldiers, vets or the flag. Oh really, I know that a lot of veterans are offended, so now we offend vets because we are protesting what me see as oppression. Why not work together to get results that most could agree on? If there is true leadership present then problems could be discussed and maybe something constructive come come of it. If present methods are continued then we are going to witness a lot of unemployed football players, profit losses for owners, tv and sponsors, not to mention the loss revenue for the cities. If grown men can’t come to an agreement on this, what future can we count on for professional sports or the youth watching this unfold?
Max onceuponatimeso he wants to be a diplomat, an equivocater, he may need reminding of abe's remark : you can fool some of the people all of the time . . . .
Paul BrinkerhoffThey keep making the argument that they have the right to kneel and protest in such a manner. Yet that was never in question. These multi-million dollar athletes and folks like Jeter are largely out of touch with the fan base, the everyday person. Has anybody ever come across such a successful business that allows it's employees to insult and alienate their customer base? As a lifelong A's fan, seeing that punk kneel sickens me even more. NONE of us want to watch ego damaged mega wealthy athletes protest like little babies that had their pacifier taken. Do they even know what they are protesting or why? I venture to say, most don't. I am convinced that the NFL will never be the same. And now we are seeing this cancer grow into the MLB, NHL, NBA and ever scholastic teams of kids. Kids just want to play, to enjoy sports and compete. The whole thing is just a mess and it truly reveals where peoples loyalties and priorities lie.