Miami Marlins Press Conference

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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.

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