“First of all, this is America. You’ve got the right to protest; it is right in the goddamn Constitution,” Taylor told Fargo, North Dakota’s Q105.1 (via Blabbermouth). “This is a peaceful protest. It is not disrespecting the troops, no matter how much you try to twist it that way.”
Taylor added that people should spend less time complaining about the “Take a knee” protests and instead focus on the actions of the Trump administration.
“People need to get over themselves,” Taylor said. “And they need to realize that that president that you’re all supporting is taking us even closer to the goddamn brink of war. I’m not saying it’s gonna get there, but I think people need to get their goddamn priorities straight before they start bitching about people kneeling for a very good cause.”
While the anthem protests have been misconstrued as a demonstration against Trump or an attack on patriotism, Taylor explained, “The whole reason that football players are kneeling during the national anthem is to call attention to the fact that police brutality is out of control. There have already been 712 people killed while in police [custody] this year alone. That is a huge, huge number.”
In the aftermath of Trump’s “son of a bitch” remarks at protesting football players, the NFL staged league-wide demonstrations on September 24th, while artists like Stevie Wonder, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Dave Matthews and more symbolically “took a knee” in unison with the NFL players.
“I think a lot of people have been very secure in their freedom for a very long time, so they’re looking for things to bitch about now,” the singer said of people – like those who burned New England Patriots gear over the protests – that are aggrieved by the non-violent protest.