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Government & Politics

Counter-Protest to NFL Players Kneeling Draws Trump Supporters to Cleveland

photo of NFL protest
Protesters said kneeling for the flag is disrespectful. Some fans passing by said it was a form of protest that should be as protected as what was happening in Fort Huntington Park on Sunday.

About three-dozen Donald Trump supporters gathered just south of FirstEnergy Stadium yesterday to stage a counter-protest to NFL players kneeling for the National Anthem.

The rally, organized by the group Ohio Citizens For Trump, took place in Fort Huntington Park before the game. Charlie Calanni from Cleveland was among the protestors, and says politics should be left out of the NFL.

“People keep saying that this is their First Amendment right. They’re at work; they’re employees. If they want to come out the rest of the year -- when they’re not playing football, when they’re not getting paid millions of dollars to play a children’s game -- they’re more than welcome.”

Tony Lewis, a veteran, was walking by the protest. He disagrees and says he fought so that both Charlie Calanni and NFL players would have the right to protest.

“I served the people to have the right to do what you want to do in America. To support what you want to support. Whether it’s right or wrong in your eyes, you have the right of freedom to believe what you want to believe.”

Organizers say they don’t know whether they’ll be at future Browns home games.