NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown is once again slamming player protests during the national anthem, as the National Football League continues to be roiled over the continuing controversy.
Brown spoke before the HBO premier of Hard Knocks and said, “I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag,” according to Fox News.
“I am not going to denigrate my flag, and I’m going to stand for the national anthem,” the Hall of Famer continued. “I’m fighting with all of my strength to make it a better country, but I don’t think that’s the issue. Because what is the top side? Are you not going to stand up? This is our country, man.
“We work hard to make it better, and that’s my attitude,” the 83-year-old added, “so I don’t relate to this issue because it’s newsworthy because where are your superstars? And where are they at? Aren’t they making comments?”
The famed Cleveland Browns running back said that he preferred players stand in honor of the flag during the anthem, but did say he respects their right to free speech.
This is not the first time that Brown has spoken out against the anthem protests. Last year Brown reportedly told the Cleveland Browns to respect the flag. “Do not disrespect your country, do not disrespect the flag,” he said in August.
“I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American,” Brown told ThePostGame. “I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not gonna do anything against the flag and national anthem. I’m going to work within those situations. But this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”
In May the NFL floated a rule to ban anthem protests but backed off when the player’s union filed a grievance to stop the rule’s implementation. Since then the league and the players have been in talks to figure out what to do about the protests. No decision has been made even with the 2018 season about to start.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.