Corey Taylor has stood up for the NFL players' protest of racial injustice in the wake of the backlash from President Donald Trump.
The SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman, who has described himself as "a socially liberal and fiscally conservative guy," discussed the athletes kneeling in protest during the national anthem while speaking to the Fargo radio station Q105.1 this past Thursday (September 28).
"I think a lot of people have been very secure in their freedom for a very long time, so they're looking for things to bitch about now — not on the football players' side; I'm talking about the other side," he said (see video below).
"The whole reason that football players are kneeling during the national anthem is to call attention to the fact that police brutality is out of control. There have already been seven hundred and twelve people killed while in police [custody] this year alone. That is a huge, huge number. The whole reason that people are doing that is to call attention to that, and the fact that most of [the police officers], their body cameras weren't working. Yeah, sure, okay, whatever. But you've got a handful of asshats that are trying to make it about something that it's not."
Earlier in the month, 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.
"First of all, this is America. You've got the right to protest; it is right in the goddamn Constitution," Taylor told Q105.1. "This is a peaceful protest. It is not disrespecting the troops, no matter how much you try to twist it that way.
"People need to get over themselves," Corey continued. "And they need to realize that that president that you're all supporting is taking us even closer to the goddamn brink of war. I'm not saying it's gonna get there, but I think people need to get their goddamn priorities straight before they start bitching about people kneeling for a very good cause."
The controversy started simmering over a year ago when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin 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.