David Butler II-USA Today

Monday’s Mashup: Matt Light ‘ashamed’ after Patriots kneel for national anthem

Lucy Burdge
September 25, 2017 - 7:56 am

Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire

MLB: Toronto at Boston, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI-FM 93.7)
MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
NFL: Dallas at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)


-- Former Patriot Matt Light spoke out against the Patriots kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday’s game, saying he is “ashamed” of the organization.

“If you think that it’s OK to take a knee during our national anthem and disrespect openly the national anthem, you are wrong,” Light said to the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian. “I don’t care if you have a ‘but what about’ or a ‘it’s because of,’ that doesn’t matter.”

Light said the kneeling “would have never happened during my time.”

“As a guy that’s been there and helped set up the Patriot Way so they can walk in there and do what they do, it’s beyond disheartening,” he continued. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been ashamed to be a Patriot. And I promise you I’m not the only one.”

Light said he was surprised Bill Belichick allowed the kneeling to happen, as it appeared none of the Texans players took a knee on the opposite bench.

“Nobody can force anybody to do anything in a situation like that. If he chooses to do it he’s going to do it,” he said. “But I’m going to tell you this much, with the amount of preparation and attention to detail and all the things that happen in that organization, I’m really surprised that it wasn’t dealt with so it didn’t get to that point.”

He also believes the protesting goes against the organization’s Patriot Way he knew when he was a member of the team.

“We’ve never been those people. On the door going out it says ‘ignore the noise.’ It says ‘ignore the hype.’ It says ‘manage expectations.’ And it also says ‘speak for yourself.’ If that is not the Patriot Way anymore, then I am very disheartened and very upset. I’m also not saying that I’ll never be a Patriots fan. What I’m saying is I’m very ashamed.”

Light sat with a 91-year old veteran and the wife of a slain SEAL Team 6 member at the game and said the players who protest the national anthem are selfish.

“His wife had to sit at her first NFL game and watch what these men chose to do. Her husband died, gave his life up so that they could do that,” Light said. “That’s the reality that these so-called men don’t understand. Is it about their cause or is it about them? If it was about their cause, I could come up with a million different ways for them to really truly change things. If it’s about them, well … you see what happens. The collateral damage is widespread. They obviously didn’t think about anybody other than themselves.”

-- NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series team owners said on Sunday they will fire any drivers or crew members who protest the national anthem.

Richard Childress, the long-time owner of Dale Earnhardt’s team, said protesting will “get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.”

He told his team that “anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”

Richard Petty, Hall of Fame driver and current team owner, said he would also fire anyone on his team who protests.

“Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States," Petty said. “If they don’t appreciate where they’re at … what got them where they’re at? The United States.”

Joe Gibbs, a team owner who won three Super Bowls as the coach of the Redskins, echoed these sentiments.

“So much has been sacrificed for our country and our flag,” he said of the anthem. “It's a big deal for us to honor America."

After his driver Kyle Busch won on Sunday, Gibbs said he has pride in the way NASCAR handled national anthem protesting.

"I'm proud of the way we've represented ourselves, and I'm proud of this sport, too," Gibbs said. "I think this sport has a certain way they look at things. I really appreciate that."

Chip Ganassi, another team owner, said he agrees with the decision made by the Steelers to skip the national anthem entirely before the game on Sunday.

“We're not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda,” he said.

The Energy Cup race took place on Sunday in Loudon, New Hampshire and no drivers or crew members were seen kneeling or protesting during the anthem.

Trump tweeted his support for NASCAR’s response on Monday morning: “So proud of NASCAR and its supporters and fans. They won't put up with disrespecting our Country or our Flag - they said it loud and clear!”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive.” -- Tom Brady, on K&C Monday morning, speaking on Donald Trump’s tweets calling for NFL players who protest to be fired