Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston defends NFL protestors: 'People like Colin Kaepernick are respecting America, not the other way around'

Players from across the country have followed Colin Kaepernick's example

Washington Redskins players kneel during one of the recent NFL anthem protests

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has voiced his supporter for the NFL anthem protests, saying those choosing to demonstrate are actually respecting the country - not the other way around.

Cranston, who is in London to perform his new play Network at the National Theatre, spoke to our sister station talkSPORT about the protests, which have seen several high-profile American football stars kneel down or remain in the locker rooms rather than stand for the obligatory pre-game national anthem. 

Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarter-back, sparked the protest movement by refusing to stand for the anthem before a game last year.

Donald Trump has now spoken out about the protestors, saying they are disrepecting America and its emergency services personnel.

But Cranston told Jim White "I don't see it that way.

"One of the pillars of America is the right and privilege to be able to protest. [To] peacefully protest is the best way, best form. Martin Luther King taught us that. I think it's foundational.

"So I think Colin Kaepernick and anyone else who's doing this is actually immensely respectful in their protest. They're not disrupting anyone from singing or from putting their hand over their heart or taking a moment privately to themselves.

"They're not grabbing the flag or desecrating the flag or throwing it in the mud. They're not walking. They're just silently, on one knee, protesting."

The best protests, Cranston suggested, are "an irritant... a piece of sand in the oyster" and this is the case with the NFL demonstrations.

When asked how far this controversy could go, Cranston said he wasn't sure, but people must "correct the misunderstanding that our President has, a woeful ignorance of history, American history, for human rights. The right to protest is one of the tenets of American life. 

"I was confused as to his aggressive outcry against it and that he's trying to make it seem that these men who are protesting are anti-military, anti-first responders... I just don't understand it."

Jim suggested it would be good if a player of the calibre of Tom Brady joined the protests, but Cranston said he wasn't sure. "It's a personal thing and it should remain that way."

Listen to the audio above