Former Giants DE and Hall of Famer Michael Strahan never had the thought to kneel during the national anthem during his playing days. But, with that narrative in the league today, he does have an idea as to what he would do if he still strapped on his pads.
Making an appearance on "Ellen" with Ellen DeGeneres, Strahan was questioned if he would kneel or not, and he thinks the answer would have been yes.
"You know, I don't know," Strahan said at first. "I think I would have, I think I would have."
Strahan pointed out that the anthem protest, that was initiated by former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, isn't done out of disrespect of "anybody in the armed services." He brought up his father who was a retired U.S. Army major as a reference, and believed his father wouldn't have any problem with him kneeling.
"I would have had a conversation with my dad, and based on that conversation, and conversations, I've had with him, I'm pretty sure I would have," Strahan said.
"I know why [Kaepernick] knelt was not in any disrespect to the military or anybody in the armed services because I have an appreciation for that. And when my father, who's 81, can look at me and tell me that he's not offended, and that he understands, then how could I -- who didn't do that service -- be offended?"
It wouldn't have been just kneeling, though, as Strahan said he would want to be active in bringing the NFL together more than it is now. He sees a rift between the players and ownership right now.
"When you look at other sports, they kind of have it together," Strahan said. "Football, it seems to be a fracture between players and ownership, and they need to get that together in order to get the message out there in right way, and not let the message become hijacked and turned into something that it was never intended to be."
The NFL placed a mandate that players were to be fined if they didn't stand for the anthem, or stayed in the tunnel during "The Star-Spangled Banner." However, it was put on hold in July as the NFL and NFLPA looks to reach an agreement on the situation after massive backlash.
So, this means players that still wish to protest during the anthem can do so without fines.
"That's one of the things you can do in this country, is you can protest, and he's protesting injustices that he sees happening," Strahan said when referencing Kaepernick. "And I take my hat off to him because he really did sacrifice and put so much on the line for other people that he had no idea who they were. He never met them, did not know them, and he put his whole life and career on the line."