Coach Bobby Petrino discusses national anthem protests

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – UofL football Coach Bobby Petrino is weighing in on the national anthem protests grabbing headlines across the country.

On Friday and Saturday, President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired.

In response to that tweet, about 200 players decided to stand, kneel or raise their fists during the national anthem prior to games on Sunday.

In Nashville, the Titans and the Seahawks refused to leave their locker rooms as the national anthem played over a nearly empty field.

Monday, Coach Petrino explained his feelings about the anthem.

"What I told them was that I would always stand for the national anthem because when I think of the national anthem, I'm picturing us beating the Redcoats, winning World War I. I was fortunate enough to go over and coach the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, so I picture being there and being at Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese attacked. So, everything that I picture when it comes to the national anthem is about somebody out there fighting for us and allowing me to have the freedom to be a football coach. I also told them that the greatest thing about the United States of America is that you have the freedom of choice."

During that press conference, Coach Petrino also said that if players choose to kneel during the anthem that it was their choice.       

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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