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Former NFLer from Saratoga Springs tackles controversy over player protests

September 25, 2017 07:06 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Bob Reed is more than 50 years removed from his days in the Minnesota Vikings backfield, but the Saratoga Springs man is still not afraid to take an opponent head on.

This time, his opponent is President Donald Trump.

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Reed says he agrees with NFL players who have used the national anthem on game days as a way to raise awareness of social injustice and for that, Reed says they shouldn't be viewed as unpatriotic.

"Don't tell me I don't know about the flag. My father fought in World War I. I know about the flag," said Reed Monday afternoon.

Reed calls the president a bully, referring to his SOB comment about football players and calling North Korea's leader "Rocket Man."

Reed has devoted much of his life to improving the lives of others and says many of today's current NFL players do the same.

He gets emotional as he thinks about the president questioning the patriotism of those like himself, who love the country.

"To have somebody come along that hasn't played the game, hasn't walked in my shoes, and tell me I'm unpatriotic. I can't say what I would tell him."

NewsChannel 13's Chris Onorato takes a closer look at NFL protests

But many agree with the president, including New York State Assemblyman Dan Stec of Queensbury, a former Navy lieutenant who comes from a military family.

"It's disrespectful. It's offensive. It's a glaring show of disrespect and ingratitude," Stec said Monday at his office in Glens Falls.

Stec doesn't deny the players rights to protest, but he says on Sundays, while they're on the job, it doesn't belong.

"I don't think that's the right time to make a political statement, to be so absorbed in your cause."

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo called the discussion about player protests "lunacy" and said this about the President's comments on the topic: "If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a deliberate tactic to distract from the real problems."

Credits

Mark Mulholland

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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