Ever since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the singing of the national anthem in an NFL game two years ago, many public figures have chimed in with their thoughts on the protests. Some have shown support to Kaepernick and his fellow anthem kneelers, but others, most notably President Donald Trump, have been expressing disdain toward them. WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan appears to be in the latter camp, as he suggested in a recent podcast appearance.
In his appearance on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast, Duggan reminisced about the “good old days” of the 1980s and 1990s, a time when fans were more eager in chanting “USA” whenever wrestlers with patriotic gimmicks such as himself played for the crowd. According to WrestleZone, “Hacksaw” said that the era was one that took place “long before all this political stuff,” and that during those days, there was no issue when non-American audiences chanted “USA.”
As the conversation headed toward the topic of NFL anthem kneelers, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan told Cabana that they’re free to protest all they want, but stressed that they need to show some respect for the United States and its national anthem, especially since a lot of children look up to pro football players.
“Tell those NFL players to get off their knees,” Duggan said, as quoted by WrestleZone.
“Only NFL game I watched last year was the Super Bowl… Tell those kids why you’re kneeling down. Protest all you want; but, [show] a little respect, I think.”
Reacting to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan’s comments on the NFL’s anthem protesters, Colt Cabana said that he was considering removing that part of the interview, but chose not to, as he felt the WWE Hall of Famer was entitled to his opinion on the matter. He explained that he didn’t want to resort to the “Fox News way of doing it” by editing out remarks that he didn’t personally agree with.
“I’m under the belief that Colin Kaepernick took a knee to bring awareness to white cops shooting and killing black kids and my thoughts say, ‘Yeah, people need to be aware of it,'” Cabana added.
According to WrestlingNews.co, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan’s comments about NFL players who kneel during the singing of the national anthem were not unprecedented, as he also expressed similar sentiments a few months ago when he appeared on former WWE announcer and interviewer Sean Mooney’s podcast. Duggan also isn’t the first WWE Hall of Famer to take a stand against anthem kneelers, as legendary announcer Jim Ross said on a May episode of his Ross Report podcast that he doesn’t understand why certain players do not “honor the flag” and why they can’t find a “less offensive” way to protest.