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On "Fox & Friends" this morning, NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath said he doesn't understand why NFL owners allow players to protest the national anthem.

He said players have a right to free speech, but not necessarily at their place of work and not when it's time to show respect to the country.

Namath pointed out that the league has strict rules about uniforms and conduct, but league officials and owners are not doing anything about players who refuse to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"We just assumed it was the right thing to do. It's always been the right thing to do," he said.

He acknowledged that America still faces issues with racial inequality and police brutality, but it's simply the wrong time to address those issues while the anthem is being played.

"We need more respect for the flag," Namath said.

The former football great added that players apparently wanted to start a national dialogue about social justice issues, but they've instead created a national dialogue about the anthem, flag and patriotism.

"The oppression or the unjust treatment of others has fallen in the background here," Namath said.

Watch more above.

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