“The National Football League is home to some of the most talented athletes in the greatest nation of the world. While I respect their right to protest, I commend to them the examples of their colleagues Pat Tillman and Alejandro Villanueva. These men defended that freedom and their fellow citizens as Army Rangers, and their actions illustrate a patriotism that unifies Americans.
“NFL players have a professional duty to deliver a compelling product on the field. I encourage them to pursue that duty wholeheartedly and can, if need be, recommend a few SEC teams to inspire them on that journey. In the meantime, I’m grateful to stand for an American flag that welcomes diversity and promotes unity more deeply than any jersey has ever done.”