Local athletes voice opinions on NFL player protests - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local athletes voice opinions on NFL player protests

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RICHLAND, WA - It was a weekend of protests in the NFL, with coaches and players across the league weighing in.

Like a couple other teams,the Seahawks chose to stay in the locker room during the national anthem.

But what do our local athletes think?

NFL protests started about a year ago with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick choosing to take a knee during the anthem to protest excessive police force against people of color.

So it's not like this past weekend was the first time the Richland Bombers had seen protests during NFL games, or high school games for that matter.

Coach Mike Niedhold said when they played against a team on the west side earlier this year, several of those players took a knee during the anthem.

But the Bombers we spoke with today tell us they will continue to stand and honor the flag and our military.

"The guys around here have a lot of respect for those who serve and sacrifice themselves for us and our freedom, so for us, at least for this team, we will pay back our respects and stand with our hands over our hearts Friday night," said team captain Josh Mendoza.

"There's a huge difference between our kids and NFL players," said Head Coach, Mike Niedhold. "Those are grown men; our kids are still writing English essays and once these kids become grown men they can make their own choices for what they want to stand for in the public eye and social circumstances."