Action star Steven Seagal resurfaced on Wednesday to slam the recent NFL protests during national anthem performances — and Twitter users were quick to compare the Under Seige actor to a “Bond villain” among other taunts.
Appearing from Moscow, where he lives and holds Russian citizenship, Seagal defended President Donald Trump against what he called “the enemies within” before taking NFL players to task for protesting police brutality and racial injustice while the “Star-Spangled Banner” plays.
“I believe in free speech, I believe that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but I don’t agree that they should hold the United States of America or the world hostage by taking a venue where people are tuning in to watch a football game and imposing their political views,” Seagal said during an interview with Good Morning Britain and host Piers Morgan. “I think it’s outrageous, I think it’s a joke, it’s disgusting. I respect the American flag. I myself have risked my life countless times for the American flag. And I don’t understand or agree with this kind of behavior. I think it’s an outrage.”
Seagal’s interview quickly went viral, with many on Twitter surprised by both his comments and his physical appearance.
Seagal’s comments echo rhetoric said by Trump, who last week slammed NFL players for protesting. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!'” Trump said on Friday during a rally in Alabama. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
Trump continued his attacks against the NFL on Twitter and claiming his stance against the protests — which began last year when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protested police brutality and injustice — had “nothing to do with race.”
“It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” Trump wrote on Twitter.