Political News

South Carolina governor declares Super Bowl Sunday 'Stand for the Flag' day

Posted January 31, 2018 7:58 a.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2018 10:48 a.m. EST

— What, you thought just because the NFL season is almost over that the controversy over National Anthem protests was dying down as well?

Bless your heart.

Just in time for the last pro pigskin battle of the year, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster reignited the furor over NFL players taking a knee to protest police brutality during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The Republican governor tweeted a proclamation Tuesday declaring this coming Sunday "Stand for the Flag Super Bowl Sunday."

"I ask that all South Carolinians show the world our state's resolute commitment to supporting our troops by standing for the national anthem wherever you watch the Super Bowl with your loved ones this Sunday," he wrote, ending the tweet with the hashtag #IStand. (A lot of tweets reacting to his declaration got pinned, #TakeAKnee.)

McMaster echoed President Donald Trump's recent criticism of NFL players who've taken a knee during the National Anthem. The President also alluded to the uproar during Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

The Anthem and race

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protests during the 2016 NFL season.

Kaepernick said he was compelled to kneel during the National Anthem in part because of a spate of police-involved shootings that resulted in the deaths of black men, including Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.

A few players took part in the protests then, and even more joined in this past season, after Trump criticized the demonstrations and said owners should fire players who don't stand during the Anthem.

Many have accused the President of playing racial politics with his criticism of players, most of whom are black. Trump denies those allegations.