Protesters wave flags outside Ray Jay, express anger over players who kneel

All Bucs players stand for National Anthem
Posted at 10:23 PM, Oct 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-01 22:23:40-04

A group of protesters gathered down the street from Raymond James Stadium Sunday to speak out against NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem. 

Buccaneers receivers DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans took a knee during the singing of the National Anthem in Minneapolis last Sunday. 

Despite the backlash, the Bucs beat the New York Giants in front of a sellout crowd this week. Every player from both the Bucs and Giants sidelines stood during the National Anthem at Ray Jay. 

“Let them know how unhappy we are about taking a knee during their National Anthem," Barbara Haselden said. 

Haselden helped organize a rally called "Stand Up for America." The rally drew people from across Tampa Bay. 

People in the group waved American flags and held signs stating, "Take a knee or take a hike" in front of heavy traffic passing along Dale Mabry Highway and Columbus Drive. 

“The American flag is not going to go out of style, the NFL will first," Haselden said. 

Also on Sunday, a couple hundred people reportedly attended an NFL boycott party held at Brooksville's Coney Island Drive Inn. 

Pictures from the event show people setting Bucs gear on fire in front of a large crowd. 

In the crowd of fans flocking to Raymond James before the game, ABC Action News spoke with Walt Laurel about the ongoing controversy. 

Laurel served in the U.S. Navy for ten years and says he supports any player who decides to silently protest before a game, even during the National Anthem. 

“It’s not about being unpatriotic, and I can tell you that from first hand from what I’ve had to experience as a Naval officer," said Laurel. "It’s about those things that we still have to work on as a country.”