Former NHL player Jeremy Roenick recently appeared on FOX's Watters' World to weigh in on the number of protests across the NBA and the NHL. Several players have kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality, but Roenick does not support this action. He said that he does not "like the venue" due to his love of the American flag.
"I wasn't for it when [Colin] Kaepernick did it and I'm not for it now," Roenick told guest host Brian Kilmeade. "I'm a huge lover of our country. I'm a huge lover of our flag, our national anthem. I think there is a time and a place to make a message." He also explained that being American should be a unifying factor for citizens around the country.
Roenick further explained that he supports and is sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter cause. He said that racial inequality is something that everyone needs to think about. However, the former NHL player does not agree with kneeling during the national anthem.
"I think the Black Lives Matter has a great message and I think the racial inequality is something that we all have to think about," Roenick continued. "We all have to work to make this world a better place for everyone but not when it comes to our flag. Not when it comes to being our country where millions of people — men and women — have sacrificed their lives. They've given the ultimate sacrifice to make sure that we have the freedoms to do the things that we do. And yes, it is kneeling but I just don't like the venue. That flag means more to me."
As the former NHL player explained, he believes that America is the greatest country in the world. He cited the "unbelievable freedoms" that are "better than any other country" as a primary reason. In his opinion, if the citizens of the country can't agree on that point while honoring the veterans that fought for these freedoms, the country is in trouble.
Debates about the national anthem and kneeling in protest of police brutality and racial inequality have taken place for several years, dating back to Kaepernick taking a knee in 2016. Many political figures and viewers have expressed frustration with players that kneel during the national anthem while others have shown support. Recent polls also show that opinions are changing in the wake of recent nationwide protests. Now more than 50% of viewers are showing support after initially opposing Kaepernick's decision in 2016.