Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said it is Americans' patriotic duty to stand for the presentation of colors and the national anthem.
In video obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, when Manchin was asked about players kneeling during the "Star-Spangled Banner," he said he "prefers to stand."
"I learned that when I was a young person, it was just taught to me that was just the right thing to do," Manchin said.
He said that as he got older, he came to understand the sacrifices military service members gave, calling it his own patriotic duty in return to respect the flag.
Manchin said that football is a team sport, and that when someone "picks on" one player, all team members will usually support that person.
He did not make it clear whether he was referring to President Trump's "S.O.B." comments about kneeling players.
"The owners of these teams that have contracts [with players] have to step in here and say I'm not going to tolerate it," Manchin said. "The only thing you and I can do... is turn off the TV" if you do not support the demonstrations.
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