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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles joins his players as they lock arms during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

A 97-year-old World War II veteran took a knee in solidarity with anthem protesters


The grandson of a 97-year-old World War II veteran tweeted a photo of his grandfather kneeling in solidarity with NFL players. Since the photo was shared on Sunday morning, it has generated more than 4,000 comments and 338,000 likes.

The veteran in the photo has been identified as John Middlemas, a farmer from Willard, Missouri. He told the Springfield News-Leader that he wanted to communicate "that you have to love everybody."

"We don't kill people. we want to make people live," he continued.

More than 200 National Football League (NFL) players protested on Sunday following President Trump's comments and tweets suggesting that players who protest the anthem should be fired.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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