- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2016

Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday called for a boycott of “rich spoiled athletes” who refuse to stand during the national anthem.

“To all the athletes who have made millions in America’s freedom: stop insulting our flag, our nation, our heroes,” the Texas Republican tweeted in response to ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, who praised professional football players for protesting the U.S. flag.

“Here’s a peaceful protest,” Mr. Cruz continued, “never buy another shoe, shirt, or jersey of rich spoiled athletes who dishonor our flag.”

Multiple black NFL players have joined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in sitting down or kneeling during “The Star Spangled Banner” in a protest against police brutality and racial bias, The Hill reported.

Four Miami Dolphins kneeled on the sideline with hands on their hearts as the national anthem played ahead of their season opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, which marked the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“I would like to keep moving forward in the right direction with everybody: equal rights, equal opportunity,” said Miami’s Jelani Jenkins, one of the Dolphins to kneel. “From my position, it doesn’t seem that it’s happening. That’s why I took a stand.”

In a statement, the team said it respected the players’ individual rights but encouraged them to stand in the future.

“We encourage all members of our organization to stand at attention during the national anthem out of respect and appreciation for the freedoms we are afforded as Americans,” the statement read. “We also recognize that it’s an individual’s right to reflect during the anthem in different ways. We respect those liberties and appreciate the sacrifices that everyone has made for our country, especially on this day of remembrance.”

Mr. Cruz also retweeted Kate Upton, who called the players’ protests “unacceptable.”

“This is unacceptable,” the model wrote. “You should be proud to be an American. Especially on 9/11 when we should support each other.”

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