Atlanta area veterans react to taking a 'knee'

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Atlanta area veterans are weighing in after many NFL players protested during the national anthem over the weekend.

FOX 5 News spoke with retired members of the armed forces at the American Legion Post 233 in Loganville Monday.

The Commander Stan Mauldin said, although he is disappointed in the demonstrations, he understands and values their right to protest, a freedom he helped fight for when he served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He just wished the players choose a different platform.

"We are not going to downgrade any football player. Our football players are protesting in the way they feel like they are able to," Mauldin said. "They have their rights just as much as we have our rights."

Air Force Veteran Eddy Simpson sees it the same way.

"For those of us who have fought for them, it is different. If you have never worn the uniform, you don't know," Simpson added.

The veterans believe the players could possibly be more effective by meeting with officials and elected leaders as well as working in communities.

The protests started when Colin Kaepernick took a knee last season to protest perceived police brutality.