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Don Lemon Confronts CNN’s Ed Martin For Bashing NFL Protests: ‘What Protest Is Acceptable?’

During an at times heated CNN panel discussion on Trump’s feud with the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem, anchor Don Lemon confronted political commentator Ed Martin over what exactly constituted an acceptable protest.

After Martin stated that Trump’s attacks on NFL players for protesting racial injustice had helped create a conversation and that we had seen progress already with the gestures of solidarity by NFL teams, he added that people just want to see more respect for the anthem. Lemon countered by highlighting that Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ hats are violating the flag code by using the American flag for advertising purposes and apparel.

Martin didn’t see this as an issue as Trump violating the flag code was still a celebration of the flag and not a protest, leading guest Michael Eric Dyson to shoot back that the players weren’t protesting the flag or the anthem.

“Can I say something? The protest is not against the flag, the protest is against the injustice that African-American people are subjected to. What’s interesting is white people want to tell black people who suffer — after suffering white supremacy — how they should appropriately protest the mistreatment at the hands of those people. So it’s like an abusive husband saying, ‘Hey, I have abused you, but let me tell you when and where to protest my abuse of you.'”

After a bit more back and forth over the notion of respect for the anthem and what the protests actually stand for, Martin said the American people agree with the president and just want the NFL players to protest in “other ways,” adding that the athletes have a “bully pulpit.”

“There are other ways to protests — what protest is acceptable?” Lemon asked Martin.

The CNN anchor went on to note that the president was pushing a false narrative about the protests as they aren’t about the flag or veterans, and that they are instead “about drawing attention to something these men feel are important.” He further noted that “protests are uncomfortable” because that’s “what protests do.”

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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