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Retired NFL safety Burgess Owens has a message for all the players protesting by taking a knee during the national anthem: “Stand up as men.”
Owens made the comments during an interview on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” Sunday, as players on both the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars knelt in response to President Donald Trump, who suggested Friday that athletes who protest during the “Star-Spangled Banner” should be fired.
Several players from both teams knelt during the national anthem Sunday:
As expected, a significant number of players kneeling in first NFL game — Jaguars vs Ravens in London. pic.twitter.com/yNsBOb0T5V
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 24, 2017
Rather than protest, Owens said it is every generation’s responsibility to instill “more hope” in those following after them — not sow division and anger.
“My parents' generation, my grandparents' generation, succeeded. That’s how they fought racism,” the star said. “We have the greatest country and the most freedom today and we have more people — particularly black Americans — who have less hope.”
Owens said that dichotomy is the result of successful men suggesting other black Americans can’t achieve great things in our society.
“Really, it’s time for us to stand up as men to say, ‘Listen guys, this country gives us everything we want to. I did it, you can do it, too.’”
He concluded by telling those NFL players who want to protest to “do it somewhere else” and “not against our flag that gives us the freedom to be the greatest country and the greatest people in the history of mankind.”
You can watch Owens’s comments below.