Rep. Kevin Brady, marked National Anthem Day on Saturday by showing the “appropriate” time to take a knee, a jab at professional athletes who have taken to kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest.
“This is an appropriate time to take a knee, not while the national anthem is being played,” Brady, R-Texas, said on social media. “You stand, place your right hand over your heart and thank God you live in the USA. #NationalAnthemDay.”
The photo included in his tweet shows Brady kneeling next to American Legion Auxiliary Chaplain Hazel Broyles, Judge Wayne Mack, and Honor Guard Commander Sheila Schulte in laying a wreath at the gravestone of a local killed while serving in Vietnam. The scene in Willis, Texas, was captured on camera on Dec. 16, 2017, during a Wreaths Across Willis event, according to the Courier.
This is an appropriate time to take a knee, not while the national anthem is being played. You stand, place your right hand over your heart and thank God you live in the USA. #NationalAnthemDay pic.twitter.com/Zns0LGvSXe
— Rep. Kevin Brady (@RepKevinBrady) March 3, 2018
The veteran who was buried there is Johnnie Carl Lawson Jr., a 21-year-old from Willis who served with American Legion Auxiliary Unit 618 and was killed in action in 1967. Former Willis City Councilwoman Josey Billnoske, his mother, was brought to tears when she saw video of the wreath ceremony, the Courier reported.
Brady’s tweet came hours after President Trump recognized National Anthem Day with a tweet of his own. “Happy National Anthem Day!” Trump said, while sharing a video of himself speaking at CPAC last month, in which he talked about proudly saluting and standing for the flag during the national anthem.
Happy National Anthem Day! https://t.co/cf1eugMbKU
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2018
Beginning last year, Trump riled up the sports world when he called on NFL owners to fire athletes who knelt during the national anthem before games. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the kneeling trend when he took a knee during the national anthem to protest the treatment of African Americans and other minorities in the U.S. and kneeling once again became prevalent this past season in response to the president’s attacks.