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Eric Holder to Gold Star Families: You ‘Should Not … Feel Offended’ by Kneeling NFL Players

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“The purpose of those demonstrations was not to disrespect people in the military, not to disrespect the flag.”

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Former attorney general Eric Holder instructed Gold Star families Wednesday about how they should go about interpreting the NFL’s national anthem protests.

“Gold Star families should not necessarily feel offended because the purpose of those demonstrations was not to disrespect people in the military, not to disrespect the flag,” Holder said in an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper.

However, those who have suffered the loss of a child who served had a different message.

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During a CNN town hall last month, two Gold Star parents lashed out at filmmaker Spike Lee, who had defended the NFL players.

Vincent and Diana Bonacasa are the parents of Louis Michael Bonacasa, who was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

“Last Sunday our community had a celebration for Gold Star parents,” Vincent Bonacasa said. “It was very humbling ceremony. But it brought us back to the day we lost our son. It was a very empty feeling.”

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The father of the fallen soldier went on to describe what it felt like the first time he saw the NFL players kneeling for the national anthem before the game.

“We came home, turned on the TV and there was the NFL players on their knees, that was a slap in the face to us,” he said, according to TheBlaze.

“So my question was, how do you support these multi-millionaires on their knees and don’t support what the fallen heroes died for?”

Lee, though, insisted that the claim that the players are purposely offending Gold Star families — or the soldiers themselves — was simply “not true.”

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This left-sided rhetoric was not enough for the Bonacasa’s.

“Excuse me I have one other question,” Vincent Bonacasa interjected. “When North Korea aims a missile at us, are these football players gonna be on their knees? Or are they gonna support our veterans?”

On Wednesday, Holder further defended the NFL players who have claimed that their protests are about racism and police brutality.

“These are players expressing, using their First Amendment rights to express views about the interaction between people in law enforcement and communities of color. That’s what the stated purpose of the protest is,” Holder said, adding also that those offended have that same right to react, but it should not take away from the “underlying issue.”

“I think that these protests really offer us an opportunity for some dialogue to talk about the underlying issue that the players were trying to raise, you know?” he continued.

Holder said President Donald Trump, who has demanded NFL players stand for the anthem, is misusing the opportunity presented by the protests.

“He’s trying to create a social wedge issue where there’s really not the need,” Holder said. as reported by the Independent Journal Review. 

“I think he could really do something positive with the controversy, and I think what he’s chosen to do is to do something political.”

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