NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- During a media briefing Wednesday afternoon in Nashville, Governor Bill Lee was asked about his thoughts on a call from several senators for universities to adopt policies related to kneeling or any form of protest during the national anthem.
Governor Lee answered the reporter’s question by saying, “The National Anthem is a great opportunity for Americans to participate in something that is unifying. I think it is deeply unfortunate and disappointing to take that moment to protest, creates divisiveness in the midst of a time that ought to be unifying, so that’s what I think about protests during the national anthem,” Governor Lee said.
When asked a follow-up question Governor Lee went on to add, “the First Amendment is an important part of our constitution and um, ” Governor Lee said as he was interrupted by an issue with the mic stand at the podium.
The reporter went on to rephrase the question and Governor Lee ended his thoughts on the discussion by saying, “I’ll just say that I think it’s a bad idea to protest in the midst of the national anthem.”
The discussion about protesting during the national anthem has surfaced after members of the ETSU Men’s Basketball team were captured on camera kneeling during the anthem before their away game versus Chattanooga on February 15.
An ETSU official confirmed the team has done so prior to other games this season as well.
You can watch the entire media briefing on our WJHL Facebook page below.