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Angry Renton driver tells Seahawks players to get off their knees

A woman in Renton told Seahawks cornerback Neiko Thorpe that he needs to "get off his little knees." (File photos)

An upset driver irritated by the national anthem protests told Seahawks players Neiko Thorpe and Mike Tyson to get off their “little knees.”

In a video posted on Twitter, the woman tells the Seahawks players to “stand up.” She also tells the two members of the team’s defensive backfield that her tax dollars pay for them to play.

The confrontation was recorded outside of the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, the Seahawks’ headquarters and practice facility. According to the post, the woman followed the two players to work.

Watch the video below. Warning: Explicit language

The national anthem protests began in August 2016 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat while “The Star-Spangled Banner” played. Kaepernick was protesting the oppression of people of color and issues of police brutality in the United States.

Other players followed Kaepernick’s example, including former Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who was joined by the entire defensive line.

It’s unclear if Thorpe and Tyson ever joined in the protests. But Tyson was listed as inactive for the majority of the season and neither play on the defensive line.

The protest led mixed reaction. While many supported their right to protest, others, including President Donald Trump, criticized them. Trump went so far as to encourage the NFL to fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,’” Trump said during a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

In November, the NFL proposed to donate almost $100 million to social justice efforts. League officials hoped to end the protests that are believed to have contributed to a decline in viewership.

Since then, team owners and coaches have gone back and forth on the issue of whether or not players should stand during the anthem.

In September, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll called the protests a “fascinating opportunity” to understand the “difference of how we look at things.”

“These are protests, they’re statements and expressions of freedom of speech that can be taken however you want to take it,” he said in a statement. “It’s hard for everybody to see everybody’s view, because we don’t have the skills that empathy calls for to understand somebody has something to say, and empathy would call on us to listen and to not pass judgment. Then whether or not you want to demonstrate compassion by working to try to help their situation, that’s what’s at stake right here.”

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