Paul Stanley has commented on the NFL players' protest of racial injustice in the wake of the backlash from President Donald Trump.
The KISS frontman discussed the athletes kneeling in protest during the national anthem while speaking to the Los Angeles radio station 95.5 KLOS earlier today (Thursday, February 22).
Asked for his opinion on former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his crusade against police violence — and more specifically, whether the NFL or its owners can discipline him or other players who refuse to stand for our national anthem — Stanley said (see video below): "I think we always have to distinguish between people having a point of view and besmirching the country. I think that we have certain freedoms here that we have to protect. And the fact that everybody doesn't agree is okay. That's what voting is about, and that's what opinions are about."
Last September, Trump called for a boycott of the NFL if team owners did not take action against players who did not stand during the national anthem. He had said that a player who kneeled during the anthem was a "son of a bitch" who should be taken off the field.
The controversy started simmering two years ago when Kaepernick was the first to kneel during the national anthem.
Players who have gotten on one knee during the anthem have said that it is a form a protest against police shootings and racial injustice.
A number of musicians and celebrities have shown their solidarity with the athletes for not standing during the anthem. PEARL JAM offered support for "everyone's constitutional right to stand up, sit down or #takeaknee for equality," while LIVING COLOUR guitarist Vernon Reid pointed out in a tweet that the protests aren't against the flag or the anthem but institutionalized racism. PEARL JAM frontman Eddie Vedder and PROPHETS OF RAGE are among the artists who have posted pictures or videos of themselves "taking a knee" in concert. Others, like STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet, have said that players should just "play ball and do the job that you get paid millions and millions of dollars to do."
Outspoken conservative rocker Ted Nugent showed support for Trump in a Facebook post titled "Take A Knee."
"When you use the banner under which they fought as a source for your displeasure, you dishonor the memories of those who bled for the very freedoms you have," Nugent wrote in the post.
Ted also expressed displeasure with the players for disrespecting what the flag stands for.
"That's what the red stripes mean," he wrote. "It represents the blood of those who spilled a sea of it defending your liberty."
Nugent went on to suggest that by not standing during the national anthem, the players didn't honor the sacrifices made by so many veterans.
"You haven't an inkling what it took to get you where you are; but your 'protest' is duly noted," he wrote.
Paul Stanley in-studio on #CPR with Marci!Posted by 955KLOS on Thursday, February 22, 2018