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Former NFL Player Tony Siragusa: Anthem Protests ‘Embarrassing,’ ‘I Stand at Home’ for The Anthem

Craig Millward
By Craig Millward | October 2, 2017 | 4:18 PM EDT

NFL Super Bowl champion Tony

Siragusa. (flickr.com) 

Former NFL player and Fox Sports sideline reporter Tony Siragusa called the national anthem protests by some NFL players  “embarrassing,”  and added, “even still, I stand at home when the national anthem is played.”

“When I played for 12 years in the NFL, when that national anthem plays, I get chills down my spine. Even still, I stand at home when the national anthem is played,” Siragusa said on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine on Saturday. 

“I just think it is something special,” he said. “And, absolutely, I get up and I yell at people if they have their hat on. It bothers me. It bothers me.”

Host Jeanine Pirro asked Siragusa what he would be doing if he were in the NFL today. 

“I would be standing for the national anthem,” he said. “It's embarrassing. I think there’s a time and place for everything. And I don't think the time or the place is right with what the players are doing right now.”

“The national anthem represents more than I think they even know,” said Siragusa, a Super Bowl (XXXV) champion.  “I’m a huge supporter of our military, and police and everybody who pitches in, and I just think that you stand for the national anthem.”

“If you want to protest, there’s time,” he said.  “Afterwards, call a press conference. If you want to pray during the national anthem, then you come out, everybody goes into the end zone, they go down, they could pray, do whatever they want to do.”

“But the national anthem stands for our country and a lot of the players who are retired are upset about this also because it's a reflection on all of us,” who played with the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens.  

“We are a big group,” he said. “You are an NFL player. Who do you think about? I hear it every single day. I wish they would understand the effects that it’s not only going to have on them as a person, but them and their money. Because the NFL right now to me is a ticking time bomb.”

Siragusa also said he thinks some players are kneeling because President Trump challenged them. But Siragusa added that he thinks a lot of them don’t know why they are kneeling.”

(Screenshot) 

“You look around on the Internet and all these social medias[sic] and you see these young kids, 10 years old, and their coaches kneeling,” he said. “What are we teaching these kids? The lack of respect in this country right now, I think that’s the biggest problem.”

Siragusa further said he has no problem with players who lock arms while standing up for the national anthem. 

“You are standing up, you’re respecting the flag, you’re looking at the flag,” he said.

“Their right hand should be on their chest,” Pirro interjected.

“It should be, it should be,” said Siragusa. “But I'll take standing up. When you stand up you’re respecting the people who fought, died for the flag. I mean, NFL players have. Pat Tillman, we bring him up right? He goes and leaves the NFL. Goes into the military and pays the ultimate price. Right? Loses his life. I mean, I have respect.”

Tony Siragusa played 12 seasons in the NFL as a defensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens and won Super Bowl XXXV while with Baltimore. He was also a sideline reporter for NFL games on FOX for 12 seasons until 2016. 


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