A decorated US Navy admiral took the time to troll Colin Kaepernick during the 75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration ceremony on Wednesday — saying those who died on that fateful day “never took a knee and never failed to stand” during the national anthem.
The remarks were made by U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris, who had a father and four uncles serve in World War II.
“You can bet that the men and women we honor today — and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,” Harris told the crowd in Hawaii, sparking a lengthy standing ovation.
“Hearing the words, ‘The land of the free and home of the brave’ means something special for every American, every day,” he later added. “But today, on Dec. 7, it takes on extraordinary significance.”
Video posted to Youtube by the Department of Defense showed countless service men and women — smiling, whistling and applauding loudly — following Harris’ comments. The agency was apparently proud of his remarks, too — tweeting out a clip of the zinger Wednesday afternoon, along with the quotes “never took a knee” and “never failed to stand.”
Kaepernick made headlines at the start of the NFL season when he began kneeling in protest against the national anthem. He later claimed that he wanted to bring attention to the racial injustices and police brutality going on across the country today.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback even got other NFL stars on board, including former New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
Shortly after Harris shamed Kaepernick, tweets began to pour in from people praising the 60-year-old for what he said.
“Pacific Fleet Admiral Harry Harris just punted Colin Kaepernick down the field, and it was absolutely glorious,” wrote one Twitter user.
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) 7 декабря 2016 г.
“Watched this from home; I stood up and clapped when I heard this! Adm. Harris was awesome!” another added.
After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1978, Harris served tours in the Persian Gulf, Japan and Hawaii. The four-star admiral has logged over 4,000 hours of flight time — including more than 400 combat
According to the Navy website, he has received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and and the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award.
While many lauded Harris for his statement, some were outraged that he would call out people who were simply utilizing their right to protest.