Local veterans and the Lawton NAACP react to National Anthem pro - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local veterans and the Lawton NAACP react to National Anthem protests

(Source CNN) (Source CNN)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - It's been a hot topic all weekend. Pro Football players kneeling during the national anthem.

Local veterans were very upset as they feel it's disrespectful to the flag and our country while the NAACP feels overjoyed these athletes are using their platform to protest racial injustice. But, both sides did agree, they just want hate to end and unity to start.

"Try to find another way to get the same results because I like my flag," said Frederick Keith, Veteran.

Keith served in the Marine Corps. for more than 20 years. He says when he turned on the TV over the weekend and saw the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, he and a few other vets felt sick.

"I don't like the way they're doing it, but they have every right to peaceful protest and that's exactly what they're doing," said Keith.

"I saw the beginning of this past weekend and I just turned it off," said Joe Okonek, Veteran. "I turned off the games."

Reverend Dr. Clarence Luckey the President of Lawton NAACP felt relieved and happy that these athletes are taking a stand for what they believe is right.

"The statement they're trying to make is that law enforcement is killing primarily young black men," said Dr. Luckey. "I'm not saying that no other ethnic groups are not being murdered at the hands of law enforcement, but the primary victims are individuals that look like me. When they showed that unity of solidarity to protest the police misconduct and violence against people, not just people of color, but people and when they displayed that it really made me feel good."

Dr. Luckey wants those angry about the people kneeling to understand WHY this means so much to him.

"What I would really say to the people on the other side is maybe you just need to look at the issue and put yourself in the place of the person that's being victimized," said Dr. Luckey.

Although they disagree on the protests, Dr. Luckey and Keith do agree unity is what our country needs.

"Just get rid of the hate," said Keith. "Quit making more of it."

"It's my hope and my prayer that we can come together as a nation and not be divided and be willing to have open dialogue about the things we feel are being mistreated," said Dr. Luckey.

Dr. Luckey says they recently held a community event for Lawton that helped bridge the gap between Law enforcement and the community. There is another event similar to this coming up on October 3rd being help by Pastor Willie Smith at Bethlehem Baptist Church. The goal is to have the community ask local law enforcement questions and figure out how to come together as a unit.

It is from 6- 7:30 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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