Staind frontman Aaron Lewis says NFL star Colin Kaepernick should be fined every time he refuses to stand for the national anthem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick has stirred debate in the US by sitting or kneeling during the national anthem at his team’s NFL games, in protest at the way African-Americans are treated by law enforcement and the wider community.
Other NFL players have followed suit and a string of sports stars and celebrities have backed his stance. However, some others in the public eye have slammed Kaepernick, saying he is disrespecting police, the military, the NFL and the American flag.
Now Lewis, who describes himself as a conservative Republican, has had his say on the issue.
Lewis tells Radio.com: “It absolutely infuriates me. And it makes me even more angry that the NFL, which is so intertwined into this nation, is allowing it to take place… that they’re not benching him, they’re not financially penalising him every time he doesn’t stand.
“That is a direct slap against the country that makes the NFL as great as it is. And for the NFL to just sit back and allow him to do that without any sort of penalty or repercussion, I don’t understand that.”
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Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is among those to have condemned Kaepernick, saying he “should find a country that works better for him.” Outgoing President Barack Obama, however, defended the player’s right to protest, saying he “cares about some real, legitimate issues.”
Staind have not released an album since 2011’s self-titled effort, with Lewis pursuing a country-tinged solo career.