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American Legion members closely watch the Super Bowl

As the game started and Pink sang, the American Legion in Henrietta stood with their hands across their hearts. (WHAM photo)

HENRIETTA, NY (WHAM)-Veterans were happy to see players stand up for today's national anthem during the Super Bowl.

Many of them said they take it as a sign of disrespect when players kneel.

As the game started and Pink sang, the American Legion in Henrietta stood with their hands across their hearts.

Some of them even had tears in their eyes.

"I would hope that everyone out there would stand up put their hands over their hearts and be a part of this country," said Alan Purdy, a Coast Guard veteran.

He said standing up is all about respect.

"I don't like the fact that these guys are kneeling and not paying true respect to our country," he added.

NFL players took a stance during the 2017 season. Many of them were kneeling at games during the National Anthem as a way to protest.

"I hope these people are smart enough to pull back and not kneel and not be disrespectful because this is such a big game," said Kathy Howell. Her brother served in Vietnam.

On Sunday night all players stood up during the Super Bowl.

"I think it's very refreshing today to see that everyone stood, they had their heads bowed and hands over their hearts," said Ralph Litzenberger, Third Vice Commander at the post.

However, others say they aren't bothered when players kneel.

"I feel like people have their own rights and their own opinions to use their voice," said Lynette Williams, who was watching the game in Rochester.

After months of seeing player kneel people say the message behind the protest has gotten lost.

"I think it's the messaging [it] has gotten construed and it's being seen as anti-american or anti-military," said Pablo Valentin.

He too was watching the game.

"There was a much larger issue at hand ignored so I am not anti-kneeling at all it's bringing forth a lot of issues that need to be talked about," he added.

Veterans say they are already looking ahead to next season hoping that all players stand every time the national anthem is played.


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