Pennsylvania man upset his neighbours by painting a red swastika over the Pittsburgh Steelers flag following their decision to stay in the locker room last Sunday.
Army veteran Anton Uhl told local media that he was insulted by the NFL team’s decision to remain in the locker room during a performance of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Sunday’s game, WPXI-TV reported.
“I’m upset the Rooneys didn’t want to participate in the national anthem,” Uhl said, referring to the team’s founders and current owners. “So to me, they’re anti-American.”
Uhl said that although he agreed players had a right to protest, there should be limits set in place for what he deems more acceptable political demonstrations for players.
“If they want to demonstrate, they have every right to do that,” Uhl said. “Out of uniform in a public forum, not in a uniform representing the Rooneys. My choice, I find it was upsetting not to have patriotic participation.”
Uhl also said the NFL players involved in the league-wide protest are setting a bad example for children.
“There’s a lot of kids that want to play football,” Uhl said. “You don’t need to pay millions of dollars for these people to stand in some type of, kneeling down, giving disrespect for everything.”
However, Uhl, who has since taken down the flag, later admitted the Nazi decoration was wrong.
“I want to tell your viewers that I was wrong in placing a swastika on the Steelers’ flag. The flag has been removed,” he told WPXI in a statement. “I’m not apologizing, but should not have singled out just the Steelers. The swastika, a symbol of hate, should be worn by all the NFL players who do not stand for our nation’s flag and anthem. If the players and owners want to demonstrate against President Trump and the disparity against races, then they should unite in uniform and march on Washington.”