NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick told reporters on Wednesday that he’s spoken with several military members about his national anthem protest, including Marine staff sergeant Johnny “Joey” Jones.
Jones lost both his legs in Afghanistan and, when initially learning of Kaepernick’s protest tweeted “Hey
@Kaepernick7 I don’t have legs but I’ll stand w/ enough pride for both of us every time my National Anthem plays.”
— Johnny (Joey) Jones (@Johnny_Joey) August 27, 2016
When interviewed by Fox, Jones said he took offense mostly to the San Francisco 49ers players comments.
“Refusing to stand, that’s one thing and it offends me, it really does, but that’s free speech. But his comments equated patriotism and pride in this country or that anthem, to supporting oppression,” Jones said. “By no means is our country perfect and by all means let’s address actual issues and solving them, but when you sit there and equate my pride and my country to a bigot in some other place or the ones that are in this country to the 300 million that aren’t that way, I take issue with that.
“That flag and that anthem stands for the people who fought in the Civil War and united this country. It stands for people who fought for civil rights that made this country a little bit better and it stands for the people that are working hard every single day to fix these issues.”
Kaepernick and Jones connected after Jones saw former Green Beret Eric Boyer at a game with Kaepernick in San Diego.
“It meant a lot,” Kaepernick told the Sacramento Bee. “I think once we had a conversation, and once we talked and he understood what the protest was really about, it was something he realized those changes do need to be made, and it wasn’t an attack on the military or their pride in this country.”