Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) took a knee on the House floor Monday night “in honor of the First Amendment” and in solidarity with the NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem in protest of racial inequality in the United States.
“There is no basis in the First Amendment that says that you cannot kneel on the national anthem or in front of the flag,” she said. “That is racism. You cannot deny it, you cannot run for it.”
Jackson Lee said she refuses to accept Trump’s comments at a rally in Alabama on Friday in which he called a player who chose to kneel a “son of a b—.”
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) September 26, 2017
“I refuse to accept that as a standard of leadership for the highest office in the world and even if you never understand it, sir… We will continue to stand in the gap and racism is going to be under our foot,” she said. “And you know where else it’s going to be? It’s going to be under our knee.”
After speaking for a few minutes, Jackson Lee knelt behind the podium. “I kneel in front of the flag and on this floor. I kneel in honor of the First Amendment. I kneel because the flag is a symbol for freedom,” she said. “I kneel because I am going to stand against racism. I kneel because I will stand with those young men and I’ll stand with our soldiers and I’ll stand with America because I kneel.”
Jackson Lee isn’t the only member of Congress speaking about the NFL protests. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga) has been vocal on Twitter, saying there is “nothing wrong with kneeling down to stand up against injustice.”
During another period, we knelt. There is nothing wrong with kneeling down to stand up against injustice. It’s protected by the Constitution pic.twitter.com/HgxqkOsqPU
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) September 25, 2017
Watch Jackson Lee’s comments in the video above.