Tallahassee residents respond to NFL anthem protests

By: Tiffany Lewis | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 25, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- President Trump's calls for owners to fire players protesting during the national anthem have fans in the Capital City fired up.

Corey Fuller, former NFL player and current Godby High School football coach, was eager to speak on the issue Monday.

"I think that the way this needs to be handled is that we continue to have a peaceful protest," Fuller said. "Because this doesn't need to spill over into the streets, this doesn't need to become violent."

Those with ties to football are not the only ones commenting. One Tallahassee resident believes that this can teach a valuable lesson to his daughters.

"As long as it's peaceful, there's always something to stand up for and be proud of," Kenneth Grice said. "I would like to teach my daughters to look at all issues when something like this arises and let them form their own opinion and if they need some help, then to speak to someone who may be a little older than them that can give them a little more insight."

University leaders in Tallahassee also issued statements in regard to the protests and the potential impacts at the local level.

FSU President John Thrasher said, "Florida State University is an institution of higher learning that recognizes a student’s right to freedom of expression. We are constantly working to ensure we have a campus where everyone can feel included and valued. We see this issue as an opportunity to continue to engage with and educate our students, even though I personally don’t agree with that form of protest. As a veteran, I will always stand up when the national anthem is played because of the sacrifices so many have made to protect the United States and what it represents."

FSU Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher said, "I don't get caught up in that. If that's something we had to address, I've addressed that before. Each player has their own choice of what they want to represent or stand for. That's each individual's choice. Whether you kneel or don't kneel, that's your choice. Know that when you do those things, like I've said, you can affect other things. And it's not right or wrong. That's the thing about freedom. There's not a right answer to that. That's the greatness of living in our country, you have the freedom to express yourself how you want to. It doesn't mean you're a good guy, bad guy, indifferent guy, it just means what you believe in and what you stand for and I think that's on of the great things about our country."

Florida A&M University officials cited the FAMU Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, reading, "The University follows "The Freedom of Assembly-Demonstration Policy," which can be found in Regulation 2.030 (19). From a Student Affairs/Student Conduct perspective, students can engage in a protest or demonstration that is in compliance with the regulation and does not interfere with the normal operations of the University or infringe upon the rights of other members of the University community. The Policy can be found at https://www.famu.edu/regulations/2.030StudentActivities.pdf."

The next NFL game is set for Thursday, September 28 featuring the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.

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