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The ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism seen across the NFL have received widespread attention the past few days.
While taking questions from reporters on Thursday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan gave his thoughts on the demonstrations that have became the focus of much attention before kickoff on Sunday.
“Clearly people have a right to express themselves how they want to, that’s the first amendment,” Ryan said. “What I don’t think people seem to get is that when you do it on the flag, on the anthem, it looks like you’re protesting against the ideals of America.”
“So I think it’s misguided to protest the anthem and the flag because people don’t see it on some political issue,” Ryan continued. “They see it as protesting against the people who have given their life for this country and the ideals that we all strive for to make a more perfect union. That’s the point I think some people are missing in this debate.”
Ryan did not make clear whether or not he believes players should be fired for taking part in the protests, or if the NFL should change its rules in order to require to stand for the anthem, as President Trump has said in recent days.