VA bishop calls on NFL to make players stand during anthem

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, middle, kneels during the national anthem before the team's NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, in San Diego. The Santa Clara police chief has vowed to continue providing a safe environment at San Francisco home games after the union representing his officers threatened to boycott policing the stadium if the 49ers don't discipline Kaepernick for criticizing police and refusing to stand during the national anthem. Chief Michael Sellers said in a statement Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, that he will urge union leadership to put citizens' safety first. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake bishop is calling on the NFL to institute a policy requiring players to stand when the national anthem is playing.

Bishop E.W. Jackson has created a petition in response to NFL players,  like San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who have been sitting or kneeling for the national anthem — a gesture that many perceive to be offensive and unpatriotic.

Kaepernick says his protest is not meant to offend, but to raise awareness of inequalities facing the black community in the United States, as well as tensions between police officers and minorities.

Jackson says the NFL should “respect the values of freedom-loving Americans who hate to see” the U.S. disrespected.

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“Respecting the flag is the minimum expression of gratitude the NFL can offer the public for the great wealth and privilege the players and the league enjoy,” Jackson said in an email about the petition.

Click here to check out the petition. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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