Military family members, veterans burn NFL gear in response to anthem kneeling

MAHONING COUNTY, Ohio--  In response to the national anthem protests, dozens of military family members and veterans held a fiery counter protest Sunday at American Legion Post 15 in Mahoning County; although, not everyone involved belongs to the Poland post.

They’re upset over some NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, while other players have been forbidden from honoring fallen officers and 9/11 victims.

“To see people disrespect the flag, that people who fought and died and my dad was severely injured is just a disgrace,” said Dan Madden, whose father served in the Army.

One by one, they torched jerseys, hats and other memorabilia and recorded messages for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who hasn’t responded.

Some cheered while others became choked up.

Fighting back tears, one female veteran said, “This flag is a symbol: It represents you; it represents me; it represents all of us, not some of us.”

But players say the kneeling isn’t about disrespect, rather drawing attention to racial inequality.

“Our message is not being anti-military, U.S. Army, anything -- it’s strictly about social inequality,” said James Burgess, Browns linebacker.

To read more about the national anthem protest controversy, click here.

We have started a private group on Facebook to let individuals on both sides of the issue share their thoughts and concerns. If you want to be considered for our group and possibly a future story, click here.