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By Paul Burton

NATICK (CBS) – Natick High School football captains shared their thoughts and feelings about the national anthem protests and President Donald Trump’s repeated comments that players who disrespect the flag should be fired.

“The way he came across was a little aggressive and I did not like how vulgar he was with his comments,” senior quarterback Christian D’Antonio said.

Tim Ramstrom was at the Patriots game and watched as some of the players linked arms while others knelt. “I respect their actions obviously, but me personally I probably wouldn’t do that,” Ramstrom said. “Just the way I was raised to show respect to the country.”

natick1 Debate Over NFL Protests Extends To High School Locker Rooms

Natick High School football captains (L-R) Peter Ryan, Christian D’Antonio, Malik Williams and Tim Ramstrom (WBZ-TV)

Malik Williams is the senior running back and linebacker. “I don’t think this has anything to do with the military,” Williams said. “I think everybody respects what they do, knows what they do, pretty sure they were just trying to bring attention to the problems in America right now.”

D’Antonio says he respects the president but was glad to see the Patriots protest. “I thought what they did in response to President Trump was right. I don’t know if it’s the right platform for these protests because what Kaepernick was trying to protest was police brutality and injustice,” D’Antonio said. “But what it turned into, now we are asking the question is it right or wrong to stand or sit for the anthem and that’s not what his intentions were.”

natick21 Debate Over NFL Protests Extends To High School Locker Rooms

Natick High School football team (WBZ-TV)

On Monday Head coach Mark Mortarelli held a special team meeting to allow his players to voice their concerns.

“I think the national anthem means a lot of different things for different people,” captain Peter Ryan said. “These athletes, I don’t think they would ever say they want to live anywhere else and they’re not trying to disrespect the military but they are trying to improve our nation and by doing these protests maybe sometimes it’s hated on by others but you have to do these extremes to create the results.”

On Friday the Natick Redhawks will take the field as they always do. As a family unit carrying the American flag.

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