Celebrities React: NFL Players Kneel, Lock Arms During National Anthem

Truth rating: 10
Reaction NFL players kneel lock arms National Anthem

By Michael Lewittes |

Reaction NFL players kneel lock arms National Anthem

(Getty Images)

Celebrities are reacting to hundreds of NFL players kneeling and locking arms during the National Anthem before their games on Sunday. Some football players took a knee, while many others, including Tom Brady, locked arms with teammates in a show of unity against remarks made by President Donald Trump. With the exception of Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who served in Afghanistan, the entire Pittsburgh Steelers stayed inside their locker room as the Star-Spangled Banner played before their game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. See Hollywood stars’ reactions to football players demonstrating in different ways against Trump’s remarks about how NFL players should be “fired” for not standing up during the National Anthem.

As Gossip Cop reported on Saturday, Trump tweeted, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL,or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect… our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” The tweets were a follow-up to comments the president made the night before at a rally in Alabama. He said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! He’s fired!'” Later, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took issue with the president’s characterization of players and how they should be dealt with for not standing during the National Anthem.

On Sunday morning, Trump returned to the topic on Twitter. He wrote, “NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back U.S.” Following some players locking arms, while other knelt during the National Anthem, the president again tweeted, “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!”

Now celebrities are reacting. Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, “As a football fan, I am proud of the NFL players today. Nothing is more American than the right to peacefully protest.” Brooklyn Decker asked, “How did 1 person get us to a place where if you stand during the anthem you support white supremacy & if you kneel you are unpatriotic?” And George Lopez wrote, “Standing in Unity, locked arms and standing proud (its suppose to be #takingaknee).”

In a long instagram post, Elisabeth Hasselbeck offered, “Notes on today, the @NFL and our #NationalAnthem -We have a leader that used bombastic hurtful language and that is not helpful. ( and in fact it is hurtful.) -We have a flag that represents our freedoms- which ironically includes protesting the very flag which permits that freedom. -Standing or kneeling is up to the heart of each citizen. Everyone’s reasons are different. That is what makes this country free.” She added that personally “I stand for the flag and the national anthem because somewhere, each day a member of our military (regardless of gender, race, religion) IS STANDING for my freedom. For me: I stand because standing and placing my hand on my heart is the least I can do for those who stand each day for our liberty. – I kneel on both knees because I am praying for this country, its leaders and our children.”

George Takei questioned, “Donald says taking the knee disrespects those who fought for freedoms we enjoy, yet he wants to deny players’ 1st amendment right to do it??” Alyssa Milano simply wrote, “#TakeTheKnee.” “Protests are supposed to upset and challenge people. That’s the whole f**king point,” tweeted Andy Richter.

In response to Trump tweeting that the NFL’s ratings are down this season, Chelsea Handler responded, “I’m watching my first day of Sunday football today, because of you, so I would assume many more are doing the same. Racist.” Meanwhile, Zendaya limited her commenting to one word, “Solidarity.” Gossip Cop will update as more celebrities react to NFL players taking a knee or locking arms during the National Anthem.

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