T.D. Jakes: The Rights of NFL National Anthem Protesters Must Be Protected
Bishop T.D. Jakes—a best-selling author and the pastor of The Potter’s House Church—was recently a guest of Don Lemon on CNN, and had some really powerful comments about racial tension and recent NFL protests.
Players across the league have been kneeling, holding up a fist, linking arms and demonstrating in various ways during the pregame national anthem to protest racial injustice. The president has called protesters “sons of b******” and has even seemed to threatened to tax team owners if the players aren’t penalized.
Jakes was asked about the protestors and said that their first amendment rights must be defended:
One of the things that makes America great, that makes the flag have meaning is that we have the freedom of speech and the right to protest. History has proven to us that those people who have protested historically were very controversial at the time that they did.
The two discussed the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Muhammad Ali, and America’s history with peaceful protests.
It takes great courage to take a stand against the current. It is so easy today to say those things that are familiar and convenient and quite popular. But in the midst of the masses of people who go with the flow, there are always people who speak out against it—sometimes rightly or wrongly—but we must defend their right to say what they say even when we don’t agree with what they say.
Lemon and Jakes have long been close. Back in 2016, Lemon did an extended interview with Jakes about how is preaching changed his life.