Chesapeake bishop starts petition for NFL to require standing during National Anthem

Posted at 10:55 PM, Sep 15, 2016

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a stand against the National Anthem has been talked about, debated, and repeated for weeks since his protest made headlines.

"Having the military insulted, having our country insulted, by some spoiled 19 million dollar a year sports celebrity? That's too much."

Now a Chesapeake bishop is offering a new take that he feels should put the issue to rest.

Bishop E. W. Jackson started an online petition calling on the NFL to require all football players and employees to stand in respect of the National Anthem and American flag.

"We have things in my country I don't agree with, but I don't agree with those issues, so I address those issues, I don't denigrate the flag and denigrate the country," says Bishop Jackson. "Instead of unifying us, he has divided us."

He says he feels Kaepernick's refusal to stand, for reasons surrounding black oppression and police brutality, could have been addressed head on with police.

"If there's an instance of police brutality that's shown, that's proved, I am with you, punish that police officer, I don't think there's an American that would say anything different," he says. "I think there's plenty of Americans that would say this is not the way to do it."

However, would a new NFL policy be a violation of the constitution?

Service Officer Joe Brady at the VFW 392 in Virginia Beach says many veterans, including himself, do not agree with what Kaepernick is doing, but he also wouldn't agree with a rule to make them stand.

"That's what America's all about, freedom," he says. "If you want to sit down, I don't like it. I think it's disrespectful, but again, it's your constitutional right."

Bishop Jackson says the NFL has strictly enforced topics like dress code. He feels if that does not violate freedom of speech, this should not either.

"Let's be consistent and let's not allow people to denigrate the flag, at least not at games and in stadiums where NFL games are played."