Football legend Herschel Walker recently sounded off about Olympians protesting the American flag and kneeling before games.
“People think I’m very harsh when I say this,” Walker told Fox News during an interview on Friday. “This is the United States of America, and if people don’t like the rules here — and there’s no doubt we can make some things better — but if people don’t like the rules here, why are you here?”
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He also questioned if the Olympics is the “right place” for Americans to protest their own nation in light of athletes from other countries “who would love to represent the United States of America” if they had the opportunity.
Walker competed in the 1992 Olympics when he raced with Team USA’s two-man bobsled team. He described the experience as one of his proudest moments “coming from South Georgia and representing the United States.”
“When I started seeing the United States flag and started seeing the people, the uniform, all my teammates from all different sports coming into that stadium — it almost brought a tear to my eye when I started thinking of where I grew up as a boy in my little hometown, and now having the chance to represent the United States of America,” Walker noted, adding, “I couldn’t have been more proud of anything.”
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The Tokyo Summer Olympics opened Friday evening with fireworks and choreography in a near-empty stadium, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Meanwhile, Olympic athletes should avoid “divisive” political statements during the games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) warned recently.
“Olympics chief Thomas Bach said that political activism should not overshadow the games themselves, as athletes in America and Britain have increasingly used their platforms to promote leftist gestures such as the Black Lives Matter-inspired ‘taking the knee’ during sporting events,” Breitbart News reported.
Walker believes leaders in sports should encourage U.S. athletes to send the correct message.
“It’s very sad to me because any other country… I can promise you… they would not be representing that country,” he noted. “I totally disagree with it, but they have the right to do it, even though I think it’s wrong.”
“We have to have leaders that… are going to stand up and say the right thing. You can feel a certain way, and I think that’s great, but this is the United States Olympics. … I’m not sure that’s the time or place,” he concluded.