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NFL legend, social activist says 'I'll never kneel and I will always respect the flag

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown said he will never kneel during the national anthem. "I am not going to denigrate my flag and I'm going to stand for the national anthem," Brown said. ( Harry How /Allsport)

NFL legend Jim Brown has a reputation as one of the most socially active players of all time, and while he respects the right of players to express themselves in protest, you'll always see Brown standing for the anthem, USA Today reported.

Brown — speaking at a premiere of the HBO show "Hard Knocks," which features the Cleveland Browns, Brown's former team — said pride in the nation he's working to improve prevents him from disrespecting the national anthem.

"I am not going to denigrate my flag and I'm going to stand for the national anthem," Brown said. "I'm fighting with all my strength to make it a better country, but I don't think that's the issue. Because what is the top side? Are you not going to stand up? This is our country, man."

'I'll never kneel'

With the NFL still struggling to resolve the issue of national anthem conduct among players, Brown was asked what he would do to solve the issue.

He acknowledged that players should have the right to express themselves however they want, but made it clear he didn't agree with those who don't stand.

"I'll never kneel and I will always respect the flag," Brown said.

Brown also called out NFL superstars for not taking the lead on this issue. While some high-profile NFL players have taken stands on the anthem, most of the league's stars have avoided notable comments about it.

"We work hard to make [this country] better and that's my attitude, so I don't relate to this issue because it's newsworthy, because where are your superstars?" Brown asked. "And where are they at? Aren't they making comments?

Who agrees with Jim Brown?

One NFL star who agrees with Brown is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the national anthem isn't the "time or the venue" to protest.

"The game of football has always brought me such a peace and I think it does the same for a lot of other people, people playing the game, people watching the game and any people that have an impact on the game," Prescott said. "So when you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to the field, to the game, it takes away. It takes away from the joy and the love that football brings a lot of people."


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