Former MLB Third Baseman Wade Boggs Discusses Flag Kneeling

Former MLB third baseman Wade Boggs joined News Hour and shared his thoughts about players who kneel during the national anthem.

Boggs spent 18 years of his career with the Boston Red Sox but also played for the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay. Since retiring in 1999 Boggs has spent his time coaching players at the collegiate and high school level. He currently coaches at Wharton High School in Tampa.

News Hour host Dan Maduri asked Boggs what he would do if he had a player tell him he wanted to kneel for the national anthem.

“Well then I’ve got to go in to ‘are you disrespecting my father, who put his life on the line to make this country free?'” Said Boggs. “I would get deep into his psyche about it, and then I would probably call his parents in and have a decision along those lines.”

“I’m all for the First Amendment rights, but I don’t think exercising your First Amendment rights are by throwing bricks and blockades and things through windows and trashing cars,” explained Boggs. “These aren’t First Amendment rights, that’s violence in my opinion.”

“You can exercise your First Amendment rights until the cars come home, please free speech, this is what we’re all made of,” said the former MLB player. “If you want to protest, you have the right to do that in an orderly fashion, and I understand that they’re trying to make statements.”

Former Boston Red Sox baseball player Wade Boggs waves to the fans as he takes the field for the retirement of his jersey No. 26, at Fenway Park, Thursday, May 26, 2016, in Boston. Photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola.

The high school coach talked about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva’s instance with the national anthem as a case he thinks about often.

“I don’t think he needed to apologize to the team or anyone, he has no apologies at all, he’s a hero,” said Boggs. “Athletes aren’t heroes.”

Boggs explained heroes are the men and women who put their lives on the line, the men in blue, the firefighters, the teachers and our education system. He believes athletes have a responsibility to be role models, but they aren’t heroes.

News Hour and Boggs also touched on the NFL’s agreement with players and owners. Be sure to listen to the whole interview for great insight on national anthem kneeling.

Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.