The Hill: Duckworth on NFL anthem policy: I fought to defend right to take a knee in protest
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Friday expressed support for NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality, saying she served in the military to “defend people’s right to free speech.”
“One day, our nation’s flag will drape my coffin, just as it did my Dad’s and will my husband’s and brother’s,” Duckworth, a veteran who lost both of her legs in the Iraq War, tweeted Friday along with a photo of her prosthetic legs.
“I will always stand on these legs for the flag and anthem, but it was ALSO my honor to defend people’s right to free speech including those who choose to #TakeAKnee to express outrage at the glaring disparity in how Americans of different races are treated.”
Duckworth, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, lost her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade shot down the helicopter she was piloting over Iraq in 2004.
Her tweet comes two days after the NFL unanimously approved a measure outlawing players from kneeling during the national anthem.
Players will now be required to stand if on the field or stay in the locker room during the anthem. Teams whose players don’t comply will face fines.
President Trump hailed the NFL’s new rule and suggested Thursday that those who can’t “stand proudly” during the national anthem “shouldn’t be in the country.”
Trump and others in his administration have often criticized players who knelt during the anthem, saying it is disrespectful to members of the military and first responders.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Trump said Americans “owe” the “greatest respect” to members of the armed forces.
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