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TRI In The News

Rutherford Institute, Chris Long Weigh in on NFL Announcement on National Anthem


The Charlottesville area-based Rutherford Institute is saying the NFL has got it wrong.

Constitutional rights attorneys say the decision to force players to stand or stay in the locker room during the national anthem is unconstitutional.

The Rutherford Institute says fining players who kneel on the field during the song would violate the First Amendment in regard to the right to protest.

The issue has received a lot of attention over the past year with football players choosing to "take a knee" while the anthem plays. The institute says protesting during the anthem is not an insult.

"This is within your rights,” says John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute. “The flag says and stands for the Constitution. It says you have a right to freedom. That's what we fight for. We fight for freedom."

The institute also says that President Trump's suggestion that those who refuse to stand should not be allowed in the United States is a misguided idea.

University of Virginia alumnus and NFL player Chris Long also weighed in on this announcement via a tweet.

He said in part, "this is fear of a diminished bottom line. It's also fear of a president turning his base against a corporation. This is not patriotism. Don't get it confused. These owners don't love America more than the players demonstrating and taking real action to improve it."