South Floridians react to players taking knee during national anthem

Players say they're making statement about injustice

By Ian Margol - Reporter, Dawn Jorgenson

DAVIE, Fla. - The Dolphins returned home Sunday from a disappointing game in New York.

Throughout the NFL on game day, there were signs of solidarity. Fans on both sides of the argument Sunday said this should be a time for unity, not divisiveness.

Players took a knee and linked arms in an attempt to make a statement about injustice in the U.S., and directly taking on President Donald Trump, who just days earlier said anyone who kneels during the National Anthem should be kicked off the field and fired.

Sunday, the president tempered those comments but maintained his position that taking a knee shows disrespect.

"We have great people representing our country, especially our soldiers, our first responders, and they should be treated with respect," Trump said. "And when you get on your knee and you don't respect the American flag or the anthem, that's not being treated with respect."

Fans around the country have fallen on both sides of the argument.

"These are peaceful protests," Brian Wright, who supports the protests, said. "All they're doing is kneeling, showing their displeasure with the way things are in the country right now."

"You can't just come in here and kneel and expect changes," Shaun Wright, who is against the protests, said. "What it's actually doing is inciting disrespect to our flag, the police, our government."

Jesus Harte and Jamal Jenkins have a unique perspective on the issue. Both men are Marine Corps veterans, with 20 years of service between them. They're also both black men who have witnessed injustices first-hand U.S.

"It's kind of mixed emotions at the same time, but I like what they're doing," Harte said of the protests.

"Would I take the knee or would I stand for the flag?" Jenkins said. "(I) take off my hat but yet still raise my black fist in the air. Alright? I'm still representing multiple fronts. Respect for this, love for the country, but also that I still stand for injustice."

Local 10 News spoke with many people, all of whom expressed feeling that the situation is causing yet another split in the country. But those who supported the protest said they feel like it is the president who is causing the split. Those who are against the protests said it's the players who are to blame.

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