‘This is not about the flag’ -Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy on kneeling NFL players

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy sat in on the Today Show hours after NFL players took a knee at during Sunday’s game. Dungy said the players would want people to know these protests are about protecting their rights.

This happening after President Donald Trump made a statement saying those who kneel during the national anthem should be fired.

RELATED: 2 Bucs players kneel during national anthem, Glazer releases statement

“The players would want everyone to know that this is not about the flag, this is not about patriotism. In their opinion this was about social change. A group of our family got attacked and called names and said they should be fired and they were unpatriotic all for what we feel is demonstrating our first amendment right,” said Dungy.

Bucs players DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans participated Sunday when the national anthem started playing. They each took a knee while their teammates linked arms in solidarity in front of them.

RELATED: At least 100 NFL players kneel or sit in protest

“I don’t see him (President Trump) tweeting about all the other things going on, the neo-nazis, the situation in Charlottesville. I don’t really see him talking about that much, but he has the time and the nerve to call out the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry, all of us in the NFL that took a knee,” said Evans after Sunday’s game.

Some teams, like the Seahawks and the Steelers said they weren’t going to play into the politics. They waited in the locker rooms until it was time to play.

RELATED: WWII vet, 97, takes a knee in support of anthem protests

Dungy said that he went through something similar when he was a child.

“I went through this in 1968. I was a little boy after the Mexico City Olympics and I talked with my dad who was a Veteran and my dad said you have a right to sit down, to stand up, to raise a fist, but do what you think is going to make the situation better. What can you do to help the situation,” said Dungy, who also offered a suggestion on solving the problem.

“It’s not going away, but listening, understanding the other persons point of view and trying to work together to go forward, that is what we need.”

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