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Gov. Greitens weighs in on NFL protests, says American flag deserves respect

Gov. Eric Greitens. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Robin Hood Foundation)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is the latest Republican to criticize athletes for kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

He said Wednesday in a Facebook post that the American flag “brings real patriots to their feet, not their knees.” The former Navy SEAL says he was taught to respect the flag. He describes those who refuse to stand as “selfish,” saying they are making the moment about them.

President Donald Trump and others have been lashing out at NFL players for not standing during the anthem. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence left a 49ers-Colts game after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee.

The kneeling protests started last year as a statement against the killings of unarmed black men and boys at the hands of police.