As professional athletes continue to kneel during the national anthem before games to protest the treatment of African-Americans in this country and President Donald Trump’s administration, legendary Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully has announced he will never watch NFL games again.
Addressing the recent protests at a speaking event in Pasadena, Scully said that he will “never watch another NFL game” due to his “overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war,” which drew massive applause from the audience. Scully called his final Dodgers game last fall before retiring as the team’s announcer after 67 years.
“I used to love, during the fall and winter, to watch the NFL on Sunday,” he said at the event. “It’s not that I’m some great patriot. I was in the Navy for a year, didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do anything. But I have overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war. So the only thing I can do in my little way is not to preach. I will never watch another NFL game.”
Professional athletes have been locking arms or kneeling during games for the past several weeks, partly inspired by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first to sit out the anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans at the hands of police officers.
Trump has lashed out at the NFL players who have chosen to kneel during the anthem, saying they should be fired and that “kneeling is not acceptable” as it is disrespectful to the American flag.
Players maintain that their actions are not meant to disrespect the flag or America’s military.
The NFL and the players’ union, along with several team owners, have been defending players’ rights to peacefully protest on the field.