Wayne Newton to Protesting NFL Players: If You Don't Like America, 'Get The Hell Out'
"I have no tolerance at all for it."
Count Wayne Newton among those who are not pleased with NFL players protesting by not standing for the national anthem, and he made it clear they can leave the country if they are that unhappy. The iconic Las Vegas entertainer shared his thoughts Monday while appearing as a guest on Fox & Friends.
"I think every American has the right to do or say whatever freedom offers us. However, during a national anthem is not a time or a place to show that kind of thing," Newton said. "I have no tolerance at all for it."
San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines after he didn't stand for the national anthem during preseason games. Kaepernick told reporters it was his way of protesting the injustice against minorities, stemming from more videos surfacing of unarmed African-American men being shot by white police officers.
Additional NFL players have since joined with Kaepernick, with several engaging in some form of protest during the national anthem ahead of Sunday's games. Their decision has been highly controversial, especially since Sunday was not only the opening day of the 2016 season for most teams but it also marked 15 years since the World Trade Center attacks.
Celebrities for and against the stance have voiced their opinion. Rob Lowe tweeted on Saturday that the NFL should make players who want to protest wait in the locker room until kickoff, especially on 9/11.
Susan Sarandon, on the other hand, said last week she supports Kaepernick and the other players protesting. She bought a Kaepernick jersey — which since the protest began has become a best seller — in an effort to show solidarity.
Newton says if the players have a problem with the country, they can "get the hell out."
The 49ers began their season Monday night with a home win against the Los Angeles Rams; Kaepernick, who did not play in the game, continued his protest, taking a knee alongside 49ers safety Eric Reid during the anthem.
Watch Newton's comments below:
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.