HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Recently NFL players have spurred a national debate. Many of the athletes are taking a knee during the national anthem as a way of protesting. "When you're talking about politics, leading the world, and things like that I don't know this is the area that you need to cross over. But that's just my personal opinion," Alabama A&M Head Football Coach James Spady explained.
However, Spady does understand why many athletes are doing it. "They are popular. People listen to them. I think that's a great vantage point for you to maybe bring about a change; and I think that's important for us to do," Spady explained.
Spady said his team is usually in their pre-game mode when the national anthem is being played. He said the song is usually already being played by the time his team enters the field, so his players kneeling during the national anthem isn't a situation for them.
But he does support any player who wants to use their platform to protest an issue dealing with racial injustice. He said if any player came up to him and asked to take a knee during the national anthem he would have their back.
"It's something morally I would stand behind," Spady said.
He thinks the point of kneeling has been missed by many people. "People are focusing on the disrespect of the flag. I use air quotes because there was never any intention for disrespect. As a matter of fact Kaepernick taking a knee was to show reverence for the flag," Spady said.
He said what players are standing up for are issues people suffer with everyday. "The fact that I have teach my young sons how the behave when they get pulled over by the police. That's the point that has been missed. The fact that there's a different playing field for us sometimes then others," Spady explained.
He said it's time for a change. He said athletes are simply using their platform to bring recognition to a problem, and he doesn't think they are being disrespectful.