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Buttigieg Hits Trump for Attacks on NFL Player Protests: Maybe He’d Respect the Right to Protest if He Served in Military

Mayor Pete Buttigieg hit against President Donald Trump again this week for his past attacks on NFL player protests, like the one undertaken by former quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Buttigieg spoke with TMZ Sports in New York on Thursday. He was asked about his stance on Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice and police brutality in America, where Kaepernick would take a knee during the national anthem.

“The way I feel about it is the flag that was on my shoulder when I served represented, among other things, our right to free speech,” he said. “One of the reasons we serve was to defend that right, the right of peaceful protest.”

The demonstration was joined by a number of players across the NFL before the league instituted a rule change that effectively banned the protest last year.

Trump has often said NFL players should be forced to stand for the anthem that traditionally plays before games.

“If the president had served,” Buttigieg said. “Maybe he’d feel a little more strongly about some of those freedoms.”

“I get that there’s a lot of strong opinions about this, but that’s part of why we served,” he said.

Buttigieg, the Indiana mayor who is running for president in 2020, has recently stepped up attacks on Trump for his past avoidance of military service.

“I have a pretty dim view of his decision to use his privileged status to fake a disability in order to avoid serving in Vietnam,” Buttigieg said on Thursday.

Watch above, via TMZ.

[image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

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