BOSTON (CBS) — With more than 200 NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem on Sunday, the silent protests are still dominating the news cycle with Week 4 set to kick off on Thursday night.
Several members of the New England Patriots took a knee on Sunday in hopes of spreading a message of unity across the league, but that’s not the way many are interpreting their protest. Former Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich for his weekly interview on Wednesday, and said he would have knelt with his teammates. He added that people are misinterpreting what the players are protesting; they’re not showing disrespect for the flag or military but trying to raise awareness of injustice in the country.
“People are looking into this the complete wrong way. That’s just my opinion. I get the view from both sides, but you have to listen to what the players are saying and not what they are doing,” he said. “That’s the part people keep letting go; they’re not listening to what [Colin Kaepernick] and people are saying.”
With President Trump saying any player taking a knee should be fired by the league, Meriweather says the situation has become a “clown show.”
“It didn’t need the president to go out and say something to make all of the NFL players and owners mad, and now everyone is doing it. Now it looks like everyone is doing it to say ‘F the president,’ when in reality everyone is doing it to bring awareness to something that has never had awareness brought to,” said Meriweather.
Meriweather disagrees with his former teammate Matt Light, who said he’s ashamed to be a Patriot after Sunday. He respects Light and says they’re good friends, but says he’s looking at the protests the wrong way.
“No players have said ‘forget the military, we’re protesting against them.’ They’re doing it for injustice. I thought everybody was patriots – I thought that was the point of America. Teachers and lawyers, I thought everyone was, in some form, a patriot.
“My question to everybody is, if taking a knee is so disrespectful and we’re treating the flag the way it’s supposed to be, why are we letting people wear swim trunks and bikinis with the flag on it? We have people with the flag wrapped around them, and no one has said anything about that,” said Meriweather. “Why is taking a knee going against the flag?”
T&R also hit Meriweather with listener questions, and you’ll want to hear who he thinks was his grossest teammate — and why. He also shared a response that Jon Wallach can use whenever someone asks “Walldick where ya at?” Listen to the full interview above!