Ben Carson just wants everyone to love America.
The United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development appeared in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, and explained that if pro athletes who protested simply explained that they love America, they would not be criticized for their behaviors.
Ben Carson says Colin Kaepernick and black NFL players who protest police brutality would not be criticized for kneeling if they just said they love America. Problem solved. pic.twitter.com/HiO7ot2kAq
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 7, 2020
My personal feeling is if those players would come out and say, “We love our nation. We are patriots, we love our flag. We honor the memory of those who’ve died to give us our freedom.
But, we are protesting some of the brutality that occurred, and that’s why we’re doing this, I think would solve the problem. And I suggest that they do that.
Carson, who previously ran for president before accepting a position in the Trump administration, would not directly answer as to whether or not he agreed with the right for players to peacefully protest. Carson said the protests were about “two completely different things” — referring to police brutality and racial injustice — and that the lack of a clear goal is “the problem.”
It’s not the first time a member of the current U.S. presidential administration has said or done controversial things in regards to the First Amendment and pro athletes protesting. In 2017, President Trump referred to Colin Kaepernick as a “son of a bitch,” while vice president Mike Pence staged a walkout during peaceful protests prior to a Colts-49ers game in the same year.
Carson’s full comments in CNN’s interview can be heard and seen below: