“Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson doesn’t plan on sitting or taking a knee for the National Anthem. Instead, he’ll stand when the Star Spangled Banner plays at sporting events. Robertson’s decision comes after talking with several NFL players regarding their protests.
In an interview with Fox News, Robertson discussed his decision to stand and how it’s important to discuss all sides of the issue.
“At what point is it appropriate to make your point? I just kind of wanted to dig into that,” Robertson told Fox News. “I would hope we could see the flag and realize even in our differences that it kind of pulls us together although, we see maybe it doesn’t. I’ll still stand [during the National Anthem] cause that’s what I’m going to do and just because someone — especially our guests that came in — just because they don’t doesn’t make me dislike or hate them at all. I can understand it better.”
Protests during sporting events have become a highly debated and politicized topic. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick popularized kneeling as a form of protest in 2016. A vast number of players across multiple sports adopted the method last year after the death of George Floyd.
Willie Robertson Discusses National Anthem Protests
Willie Robertson and his wife Korie invited several NFL players on his Facebook Watch series series “At Home with the Robertson’s.”
Robertson sat down with former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas. He also spoke with American football long snapper Nate Boyer. The episode focused on whether kneeling during National Anthem was a “powerful protest” or “disrespectful.”
During the episode, Thomas said NFL players have a responsibility to address racial injustices in the black community. Robertson, who adopted a biracial son Willie Jr., found the conversation eye-opening.
“When it comes to issues in the African American community, why can’t we be the leaders and the champions of that as well? And use our voice and platform and do it?'” Thomas said during the episode.
Robertson said he supported NFL players’ rights to protest but questioned why the flag couldn’t bring people together. Overall, he said he got a better understanding of the players’ viewpoints on the issue. Still, Robertson plans to stand himself during the National Anthem.
“It’s not easy having these conversations and actually putting yourself out there,” Robertson said. “[But] I think Americans kind of want that.”