Former NFL player, Maryville Gold Star Mom finds protest offensive

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Controversy sparked over the weekend after more than a hundred NFL players took a knee during the national anthem.

It's a protest pioneered by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Last year he said it was over social and racial injustice. Several teams decided to participate by kneeling, sitting, or staying in the locker room. This happened after criticism from President Trump.

Related: Dozens of players kneel, link arms at first NFL game since Trump remarks

Pride in the American flag was evident at one Maryville home. Robin Ferschke puts the flags up to show patriotism and remember her son, Michael.

Michaek was a Marine who was killed in action nine years ago while on a mission in Iraq. He was a recipient of the bronze star and purple heart.

"My son sacrificed his life so they could do what their doing," said Ferschke.

She said it was offensive to see players across the NFL landscape kneeling in protest during the national anthem. She understood players have a right to protest but she does not believe during the national anthem is the time to do it.

"I cried and I looked at my son and said I'm sorry Michael. I'm sorry that they're doing this," she said.

She hoped players find another way to send their message. A former Vol For Life and NFL player, Fuad Reveiz, agreed with her. Fuad is retired after playing in the league for more than 10 years. He played for the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings.

"I think it's a disgrace for anyone to insult the flag that so many people died for," said Reveiz.

Some current Tennessee Volunteers did not find it offensive. Defensive lineman Kendal Vickers felt that way even after growing up on a military base. His dad served for more than 20 years.

"They are doing it in a non-violent manner. I don't see a problem," said Vickers.

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