- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2016

Steve Largent, one of the most iconic names in Seattle football, has weighed in on national anthem protests as the team mulls a united form of activism to start the season.

The NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver exited the league in 1989 with the most catches — for the most amount of yards — of any player in the game’s history. He appeared on the “Ron and Don” show in Washington state on Thursday to discuss the national anthem protests started by San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick and emulated by Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner.

“That’s a moment as a player to stop, reflect and acknowledge that there’s been a lot of sacrifices made to get us to a point in this country, even to have to the opportunity we have as players to play this game, be paid as much as we do, and everything else,” Mr. Largent said, a local CBS affiliate reported. “Taking a pot shot at some cause, whatever it is, during the national anthem is inappropriate.”

Mr. Largent, who became a successful businessman and an Oklahoma congressman for the Republican Party in his post-NFL career, then said that players have plenty of opportunities outside the stadium to forward political causes.

“Maybe I’m just from another era,” Mr. Largent said, the station reported. “I think there’s a lot of opportunities that players have to make their point. I think doing it during the national anthem is not the right time for any kind of statement to be made. You have a microphone in your face, or pen on a paper at the drop of a hat. So there’s a lot of times to make political statements or make statements of disappointment — whatever you want to make. But don’t make it during the national anthem. There have been too many people in our country that have fought hard for that flag. I know they’ll say that this is not about them. Well ya know, in fact, it really is.”

Mr. Largent’s comments come just days before his former team plays its season opener on Sept. 11 against the Miami Dolphins. Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said via his Twitter account on Thursday that “a pregame demonstration of unity” to honor the nation will take place before the kickoff.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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