- The Washington Times - Monday, November 20, 2017

Country music singer Neal McCoy’s newly released single about the NFL is climbing the charts, but you’ll probably never see the song performed at halftime.

Released Nov. 10, “Take a Knee My Ass” was ranked first on Amazon’s digital country songs and fourth on the iTunes Top 100 Country Songs Chart as of late Sunday.

Mr. McCoy said the single, written by Dan Roberts, was a natural for him, given that he recites the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

After a friend sent him the song, “I said, ‘Well, it’s exactly what I want to say and what a lot of people have been wanting to say,’ so I just [went] ahead and recorded it,” Mr. McCoy told “Fox & Friends.”

On Friday, he posted the music video featuring photos of soldiers, disabled veterans and police officers, as well as adults and children holding their hands over their hearts.

The song’s lyrics include, “When I see somebody on TV take their stand on bended knee, whether it’s on Astroturf or grass/I think of those whose freedom was not free, and I say, ‘Take a knee, my ass.’ “

Mr. McCoy, who has performed on 15 USO tours, said the song isn’t meant to imply that the NFL players refusing to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” don’t have a right to do so.

“This song’s exactly what I stand for,” Mr. McCoy said. “It’s not a slam against the people who are taking the knee, that they don’t have a right to do that — I understand they do — I just think it’s kind of a wrong time, wrong place kind of thing for me.”

He said he’s received both positive and negative feedback on social media.

“The upside and the downside is that a lot of people like-minded like me are going to say, ‘Yeah, man, tell ‘em how we feel,’ and others say, ‘You’re an idiot and a racist,’ ” said Mr. McCoy, who’s half-Filipino. “I had no idea that it was going to go viral, and now that it has, we’re sure getting the other side.”

The song comes with the NFL grappling with declining ratings and fan outrage over the take-a-knee protests, which began last season in reaction to the deaths of black men at the hands of police.

Mr. McCoy, 59, who was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009, is also selling T-shirts with the song’s title on his website, www.nealmccoy.com.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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