Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore said kneeling during the national anthem was “illegal” in a Wednesday interview with Time Magazine.
Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief, said National Football League players are breaking U.S. Code 301, which regulates how people should conduct themselves when singing the anthem.
“It’s against the law, you know that?” he said. “It was a act of Congress that every man stand and put their hand over their heart. That’s the law.”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem last year to protest police brutality and what he described as a system that oppressed black Americans. President Donald Trump slammed the football players, suggesting the NFL fire the players who insisted on kneeling.
Trump’s comments led to a wave of protests with NFL players responding by kneeling in droves during the anthem, while other teams stayed in the locker room while it played.
“I back the President in upholding respect for the patriotism for our country, on two grounds,” Moore continued. “One, it’s respect for the law. If we don’t respect the law, what kind of country are we going to have? Two, it’s respect for those who have fallen and given the ultimate sacrifice. I’m surprised that no one brought this up.”