Pete Buttigieg defends NFL Anthem Protests

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg defended NFL players, including former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, right to peacefully protest during the national anthem.


What We Know:

  • When asked, Buttigieg used his service in the Navy to defend his perspective on the matter, stating “I felt that I was watching Americans exercise a right that I had put my life on the line to defend.”
  • Football players have carried on the protest of racial injustice and police brutality when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the anthem at a preseason game in 2016.
  • In 2017, Trump argued that the protest disrespected the military and that the players who didn’t stand during the national anthem, should be fired or suspended.
  • However, Buttigieg thinks that if Trump served in the military, maybe his views would be different. The 37-year-old stated that the flag represents  a multitude of things, freedom of speech being one of them “You don’t have to like it but one of the reasons we served was to defend that right, the right to peaceful protest and the idea that we can protest what is wrong with our country,” he said.

Buttigieg, who is currently the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, felt strongly about the situation back then as he does now. In 2017 he tweeted “I was trained to stand & salute. But freedom — including to protest injustice — is the whole point of the anthem, the flag, and the country.”