Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said on Tuesday that he admires athletes who show respect for the country, its flag, and those who protect the United States — including law enforcement and the military — by standing and saluting the flag during the national anthem.
Jordan said he “completely disagrees” with the NFL position on allowing players to “take a knee” while the anthem is played and praised Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose teammates stayed in the locker room while he came out to salute the flag during the national anthem at a recent game.
“That’s the proper way to honor our troops, and our law enforcement, our flag, and our great country,” said Jordan, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus.
Jordan referred to another athlete bucking the NFL protest trend.
“You know the guy I like is that Sam Kendricks, who was a guy in the Olympics — a pole vaulter sprinting down the runway,” Jordan told Breitbart News. “Here’s a teammate being presented the Gold Medal and the national anthem playing, stopped dead in his tracks and salutes the flag.”
Kendricks won the Bronze Medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio for pole vaulting.
“The former Ole Miss track star, who is listed as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, won the bronze in the men’s pole vault earlier this week with a jump of 19 feet 2¼ inches, becoming the first American to medal in the event in 12 years,” the Washington Post reported.
He also may be the only American to stop mid-run on a jump during the event, which happened earlier this week when Kendricks overheard the national anthem while competing in the qualifying round.
He dropped his pole and stood at attention, and the video made the rounds on social media.
The latest round of controversy over the now infamous Colin Kaepernick move in 2016 — when the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback took a knee during the national anthem to protest racism in the United States — came on Friday. During a campaign rally in Alabama, President Donald Trump expressed his opinion on the matter.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!’” Trump said.
Trump said the protests were a “total disrespect of our heritage” and “a total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”