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.”

Patriots players take a knee during the national anthem. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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.

Read: Patriots Will Reportedly Stand For Anthem On Sunday

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!



Comments (3)
  1. Allen Blaine says:

    Again, what oppression??? No one will answer that question. NO ONE!!! Unity with who? The players??? What about unity with the fans and those who support the nfl with their ticket purchases and products from the sponsors? Are you saying to “hell ” with the all Americans? And if this is like you say, a show against Trump, then that becomes a legal problem, as the organized effort to over throw any POTUS is called sedition and treason. The American people are reading this correctly. If it does not stop, the nfl will be history and these million dollar idiots will be in the unemployment lines.

  2. Michael Daly says:

    Meriweather is deceiving everyone, as is everyone trying to justify these protests. There isn’t any “injustice” or “oppression,” and the fact of a league 70% black succeeding and enriching these players to magnificent levels proves that. Teachers and lawyers as patriots? Teachers are often the worst at falsifying reality, the worst Intellectuals – it has always been Intellectuals from 1919 onward that created and enabled the vilest of violent ethnic nationalisms. Wearing swim trunks and bikinis is no act of hatred. Taking a knee is an act of condemnation.

  3. He doesn’t even know why patriotic individuals chose to stand for the anthem as a show of respect. Show disrespect during the anthem and you will have lost touch with the heartfelt relationship most Americans have towards the core values of our country along with the pain of many sacrifices freely given by the living and the dead to continue the hopes of every generation. He truly doesn’t understand that it is especially a very personal moment to those that serve and their families. They will never see it as a time to introduce protest and politics. If you did understand you would feel the deep sense of shame the NFL fan base is now experiencing rather than running around making excuses, never having learned a thing from this. Only a fool would say they did it to show they could. A lot of difference between could and should… A lot of maturity required to understand there is a right and a wrong place and time…

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