On Fox, NFL player debunks Fox's crusade against Colin Kaepernick for not standing during the national anthem
Benjamin Watson: "Players respect the right not to stand ... I think [Kaepernick] wants to improve some things that are happening in this country"
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From the June 16 edition of Fox and Friends:
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STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): What did you make of that last story that the NFL is injecting politics into the situation by playing the national anthem? That’s politics.
BENJAMIN WATSON: Well, I don't know if many people know this but there was a time when the national anthem was not played -- well players weren't there when it was played. So, five or six, seven years ago, or so, players -- we were actually in the in the locker room. And then some things happened overseas. And we wanted -- I guess the NFL wanted to do this and brought players out. So politics, I don't think so. I think being a citizen of this country, the national anthem is something that we all stand for, we all recite. We learn that as kids. So I wouldn't say it is politics, but you have to understand that he's right, that you don't have to stand but being an American I think we all should want to if possible.
PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Inside the locker room, has there been any controversy about the national anthem, or do players say, "Hey this is my country, I love it, I want to stand for it?"
WATSON: Players respect the right not to stand. This conversation has gone on and on since it happened last year. So players respect the right no matter if you agree with everything that [Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin] Kaepernick agrees with, we all respect his right not to do that. But as players we also understand that this is our country and if possible we want to be proud of it. The reason why he is not standing is not because he is anti-American I don't believe. I just think he wants to improve some things that are happening in this country.