Steven Seagal had everybody talking today as he labelled the NFL knee protests “outrageous” and “a joke” during an appearance on “Good Morning Britain.”
A long line of celebrities have “taken a knee” in protest of President Donald Trump, but Seagal, 65, is not one of them, as he branded the whole thing “disgusting” while chatting to UK presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.
The actor – who was on the ITV program to discuss his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his opinions of Trump – explained: “I guess really what I’d like to say is this, I believe in free speech, I believe that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t agree that they should hold the United States of America or the world hostage by taking a venue where people are tuning in to watch a football game and imposing their political views.”
He went on: “I think it’s outrageous, I think it’s a joke, it’s disgusting. I respect the American flag.”
“I myself have risked my life countless times for the American flag and I don’t understand or agree with this kind of behavior. I think it’s an outrage,” Seagal added.
Speaking via satellite link from St Petersburg, the star explained how he gained Russian citizenship with the help of Putin, 64.
He said of why he wanted to gain Russian citizenship: “Well, I did give a statement at the time. My father was pure Russian. I have lots of relatives here.”
“I think one thing that’s sort of not known is that there are millions and millions of people who have dual and multi citizenship. I think the thing that makes it controversial is all the propaganda flying about Russia,” Seagal continued.
Seagal then added of his friendship with Putin: “We talk about martial arts, philosophies and people in life.”
Not only did his appearance get a reaction on Twitter, but viewers also questioned why Seagal should have a say on the NFL players’ protest at all.
The gesture was started by player Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee during the anthem last year, in a protest against shootings of black men by white police officers.
One person joked of Seagal this morning: “Finally, Steven Seagal weighs in on the NFL protests. Now, what does Ja Rule think? #realquestions #weneedtoknow.”
“‘I won’t be able to make up my mind about the NFL protesters until Steven Seagal weighs in,’ said no one ever,” a second added.