There’s no ring after the knee for some NFL players

FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, from left, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, center, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. What started as a protest against police brutality has mushroomed a year later into a divisive debate over the future of Kaepernick who refused to stand for the national anthem and now faces what his fans see as blackballing for speaking out in a country roiled by racial strife. The once-rising star and Super Bowl quarterback has been unemployed since March, when he opted out of his contract and became a free agent who could sign with any team. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – America’s love affair with football has gotten messy over the last few months, and according to recent reports, some football ratings are dropping.

Monday, KSN contacted both current and former NFL players as well as veterans to get their insight on the recent protests during the national anthem.

“The people here need to know that when that happened with Rodney King in Los Angeles, I supported him and the black community 100 percent because it wasn’t right,” said veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Jerry Mayhew. “But this isn’t right.”

Mayhew fought in the Vietnam War and he believes the football field is not the right place for a protest on racism.

“Not only am I a veteran, I know people who have died,” he said. “It’s not about race anymore, it’s about patriotism and dishonoring the flag and this is a dishonor to the flag.”

This is a conversation that started on Facebook this morning asking people how they felt about NFL players taking a knee or locking arms during the national anthem. This attempt is said to be in conjunction with raising awareness against racism and police brutality. (Story Continues Below)

A colorful amount of opinions were shared here and over the phone Monday. KSN spoke with ex-NFL player Ethan Kelley, who played for the New England Patriots, about his thoughts on the recent protests.

“Why is police brutality and racism not being condemned in the same way that the protests are,” questioned Kelley. “It’s disappointing they are being condemned for exercising their first amendment.”

KSN also reached out to several well-known ex-NFL players. some that live in Wichita. All of them declined to speak with me on the topic.

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