SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KOLR/WATE) — A picture of a 97-year-old Missouri man kneeling on the ground went viral.
The photo of WWII veteran John Middlemas shows him kneeling to support players in the National Football League. A growing trend among many NFL players is kneeling during the national anthem to show disapproval of America’s current civil rights standing.
Middlemas’ grandson Brennan Gilmore tweeted the photo Sunday morning. “My grandpa is a 97-year-old WWII vet & Missouri farmer who wanted to join w/ those who #TakeaKnee: “those kids have every right to protest,” said the tweet.
“I wanted to communicate what I always told my grandkids and everybody else,” said Middlemass to The Springfield News-Leader. “When they’d go to bed at night, we’d tell the kids we wanted [them] to be like Jesus.”
President Donald Trump condemned Colin Kaepernick and other players’ protesting efforts through a series of tweets.
Since then, NFL players and coaches have rested on one knee or locked arms during the anthem despite the president’s comments.
Middlemas told the newspaper that he is not a supporter of the president.
Gilmore went on to tweet,”Grandpa has been an ally to the civil rights movement for many years. He’s an amazing man always on the side of justice.”