Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says while she doesn’t agree with NFL players who are taking a knee while the Star Spangled Banner is being played, she supports their right to do so.
Ernst says if they want to do that, then it’s her right not to watch those players. Ernst says, “This is a country that has given them every opportunity to make millions of dollars playing a game they love, and for them to not stand when we have our national anthem played, I disagree with it.”
Ernst says while players have the right to make such an expression, she won’t be surprised if the public will react negatively to their efforts. “It’s my right as a citizen to not support those players that do that. Maybe more people will choose to do that,” she says. “Maybe they’ll choose not to go to those games or watch those games on TV.”
Ernst says she hopes players realize the advantages they have being Americans compared to most places in the world. “This is the best country on the face of the planet, and the opportunities that we extend to every American is beyond what many other countries will step up and do,” Ernst says. “I hope that someday they fully recognize the advantages that we have over many other fully developed nations. I hope they are proud of where they come from. I’m extremely proud to be an American.”
Ernst is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate.
Repubican Governor Kim Reynolds called the protests “disrespectful.”
(By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)