An Indiana State player joined the National Anthem protest this weekend sparking the conversation in the Valley.

“Them doing what they have been doing is definitely catching people’s attention, so it’s definitely helping,” said Sophomore, Dashone Wells.

Wells feels the protest is starting a national discussion. Others believe the anthem is not the right place  for a protest and the demonstration is disrespectful to the men and women who have served our country.

“It is their given right to do that and I did defend this country to give them that right, that freedom to do that, I don’t necessarily agree with it,” said Veteran, Charles Gast.

“Anyone who is willing to call themselves an American actually have some type of connection to the flag with the national anthem. It’s not based on anything other than being an American,” said Veteran Nicholas Van Houten.

The two vets say they do not feel disrespected by the protest, however, Brian Hollis feels differently about what the anthem means, which is why he supports the movement.

“I feel it means to stand up for something you know to fight for your country but how I take the flag and national anthem is, I’m not going to stand or pledge allegiance to any country that don’t care about me or my people. Why fight for a country that won’t fight for you at home,” said Hollis.

Indiana State Athletics did release the following statement:

“Lonnie Walker’s decision to take a knee during the national anthem was his personal choice as a citizen. Indiana State University has a long history of diversity, inclusion, and its students exercising their rights to free speech.”