breaking news

Topre to expand again, adding 200 jobs and investing $73M

Springfield’s John Legend blasts Trump, supports protesting NFL players

Springfield native and singer John Legend supports the recent “take a knee” protests by NFL players, saying it’s in a long line of patriotic movements that have helped make America what it is today.

In an op-ed article for, Legend blasted President Donald J. Trump for his remarks on Twitter against players who decided to kneel during the performance of the National Anthem, saying the president doesn’t “respect the ideals at the core of our Constitution and national identity.”

DETAILS: Springfield City students take part in video with John Legend

“He routinely undermines freedom of religion with his rabid Islamophobia, attacks the free press with disturbing regularity and is now attacking the rights of people to peacefully protest,” he wrote.

Trump has called for the NFL to fire or suspend players who don’t stand during the National Anthem and that kneeling during it was disrespectful.

“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” Trump said in Twitter on Monday morning.

RELATED: That time 10-year-old John Legend was a Springfield spelling bee champ

The protests follow in the wake of rising tensions regarding race relations in America. Several protests have taken place in major cities across the nation with some ending in violence, such as the protest in Charlottesville several weeks ago that led to the death of one of the protesters after a car was driven into the crowd.

Legend compared the NFL player protests to the marches in 1965 during the Civil Rights Movement.

“Protests in Selma, Alabama, changed the trajectory of this nation and catapulted the Voting Rights Act into being,” he says in the op-ed. “If you think these protests were irrelevant, consider Johnson’s words to Congress: [A]t times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom … So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.”

This isn’t the first time Legend has taken a strong stance on a controversial or social justice issue. He has been a long-time advocate for feminism and in an August interview with Cosmopolitan, he spoke out against toxic masculinity and how “older jock” peer pressure regarding sex and dating affected his life when he was a younger male teen in college.

MORE COVERAGE: Legend returns for ‘important center of Springfield’

Legend also says in his article that the NFL player protests are important because they raises awareness.

“Because these protests are their own from of a pledge-of-allegiance — allegiance to the ideals that are our nation’s founding principles, which many heroes have given their lives to defend,” he said. “They are the definition of patriotism.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED THURSDAY INCLUDED: Isaac D. Gambrell, 29, of Lewisburg, unauthorized use of vehicle, dismissed. Jonathan J. Nick, 45, of 2200 Hadley Road, criminal damaging, dismissed. Kathy Ann Sagraves, 55, of 1471 W. Mulberry St., OVI, guilty, 12 months driver’s license suspension, 10 days jail, fined $525. Katherine S. Bendall, 42, of Enon,...
Claire’s Stores files for bankruptcy
Claire’s Stores files for bankruptcy

Claire’s Stores Inc., a fashion accessories chain, has filed for bankruptcy. The retailer and its affiliates have filed bankruptcy in United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The move could help with Claire’s $2 billion debt load. “Claire’s is growing, not shrinking, its business. The company expects...
Map shows location of 4 Austin bombs
Map shows location of 4 Austin bombs

The fourth explosion in Austin this month sent two men to the hospital with serious injuries Sunday night.  >> Read more trending news  The explosion follows three similar incidents, one on March 2 that killed 39-year-old Anthony House, and two on March 12 that killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason and injured two others. The first...
Trip wire might have triggered 4th Austin explosion in 1 month: live updates
Trip wire might have triggered 4th Austin explosion in 1 month: live updates

Police in Austin continue to investigate a series of explosions that have claimed two lives and injured at least four others.
Wendy Williams says ‘perfect storm’ led to talk show hiatus
Wendy Williams says ‘perfect storm’ led to talk show hiatus

Wendy Williams is discussing her health ahead of her return to her daytime talk show. In February, the TV personality took a three-week hiatus from her show to focus on her health. “Entertainment Tonight” reported that she spoke to “Good Morning America” about her break before her return to the show March 19. >> Read...
More Stories