New Englands Patriots Safety Devin McCourty went ton MSNBC to talk about the anthem protests, and he compared kneelers to 9/11 first responders (video below).
The interview, captured by The Federalist Papers, occurred on Sept. 11, 17 years after hundreds of first responders were killed in the terror attack on the World Trade Center.
When McCourty was asked about his kneeling protest being viewed as disrespectful to the flag or military, he said that the real issue was that people weren't listening to him.
"I think, listen, you know, Malcolm Jenkins has a shirt and he wears a shirt that says 'you aren't listening,' and I think that's been the key point," McCourty said.
"We've talked about different issues, umm, you know, coming up in September we'll have a huge campaign talking about the cash bail system where, you know, 70% of people are sitting in jail, and haven't been convicted of any crime," he added.
"So, uh, I think you truly want to get involved and not just throw out the idea all these guys are protesting the anthem, and the service members, and actually listen to us and see what we're talking about, we've had opportunities to talk to some of those service men. And they said that's what they fought for," he said.
Then McCourty doubled-down and said that kneeling was just like being a 9/11 first responder.
"So, I think a day like today, where we're talking about 9/11 everywhere, you know, I think it's the equality of what people went through when they were trying to rescue lives, as the same thing we're trying to fight for."
After the 9/11 attack on the twin towers, hundreds of first responders rushed into the buildings to rescue people. 412 of them were killed when the buildings collapsed.
Thousands more spent weeks living in toxic dust as they searched the rubble. Thousands of them have since been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer.
McCourty has a $1.6 million dollar contract to play football, and with the chance to earn an additional $1 million based on his play time this season, and $400,000 in per-game roster bonuses according to ESPN reporter Mike Reiss.
You can see the video of the interview below: