Former NFL player speaks on anthem protests - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Former NFL player speaks on anthem protests

(Source: ESPN) (Source: ESPN)

WALTERS, OK (KSWO) - A former NFL football player speaking to students about his faith weighed in before the rally on the ongoing National Anthem protests.

Wednesday evening, Oklahoma native and Super Bowl Champion Billy Bajema spoke to students at a city-wide youth rally in Walters to talk about his faith, time in the NFL and how they correlated.

Students from churches across town attended, brought food for the local food bank and gave Bajema a football helmet from the school. 

Before speaking to the students, though, he spoke to 7News on the NFL anthem controversy.

He said doesn't like it, and is disappointed that not all players are standing together for the National Anthem. Bajema said he can't imagine being in a locker room.

"It's just a shame to me that we can't stand united and salute the flag," Bajema said. "I just wish the protest would've taken a different route and never included our flag and hopefully they'll get back to everybody standing in unity and supporting our country."

He said it's a crazy way to protest.

"I don't think what they're really protesting is the country if you ask most of these guys,” Bajema said. “There are guys that I played with, that I like and I see them on the sidelines kneeling during these things and you don't what's going on in their head but it's just unfortunate that they choose something as sacred that people have fought and died for like our flag."

Bajema said he respects difference of opinions and what people are fighting for but wishes they were doing it a different way.  
He isn't surprised fans are offended. 

"There's a lot of people that feel like they're fighting for great causes but most of America would say people have fought and died for this country let's find another way to do it," Bajema said.

He says football has been a uniting thing over the years and believes this controversy will pass and the sport will unite people again.

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