Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said she was specifically opposing President Donald Trump and showing solidarity with the athletes who defied him.
‘I kneel in honor of them. I kneel in front of the flag and on this floor,’ Jackson Lee said.
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Trump infuriated black leaders Friday night during a speech in Alabama by calling for NFL team owners to fire any ‘son of a b***h’ who dared not stand during the playing of the pre-game National Anthem.
Jackson Lee flatly called the president’s controversial statement ‘racism.’
‘I kneel in honor of the First Amendment. I kneel because the flag is a symbol for freedom,’ she said.
‘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, because I kneel.’
‘The only reason he is doing this,’ she said, ‘is that someone had the lack of judgment to provoke the situation and call their mothers a name.’
‘I refuse to accept that as a standard of leadership for the highest office in the world.’
‘There is no basis in the First Amendment that says you can not kneel in the national anthem.’
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from government attempts to legally restrict their freedom of speech and expression.
‘During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.’
Trump said Tuesday morning on Twitter that ‘the NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!’