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Patriots Fans Split On Players Kneeling During National Anthem

FOXBORO (CBS) -- Outside Gillette Stadium after Sunday's last-minute win over the Houston Texans, the fans were excited.

"Woo! Woo! Go Pats," some fans shouted.

"The game turned around. Brady's Brady," another fan said.

However, before the game started, there was some action too.

Patriots Anthem
Members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the National Anthem is played before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

A large group of Patriots players were kneeling during the National Anthem. That brought some "Boos" from the stands.

The fans had a few things to say after the game.

"I think they have the right to do whatever they want, personally," one fan said.

Another said he was disappointed.

"Very disappointed that people knelt, very disappointed. What are you gonna do?" the fan said.

When one fan was asked his opinion about the players kneeling, he said, "Everybody has a right to express themselves how they see fit."

Another fan said that respect for the country is the real issue.

"You know what, do what you need to do as long as you respect the country. That's fine," he said.

The fans also had a reaction to the fans who booed.

"There were quite a few people that were booing when they were actually doing it, which I didn't think was a good thing. But I understand you got two sides to every story," the fan said.

Members of the New England Patriots kneel during the National Anthem before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The players say they weren't attempting to disrespect the country. They were protesting against President Trump's remarks. Receiver Brandin Cooks says his family has a history of being Marines.

"My father was a Marine. My uncle was a Marine," Cooks said. "My family fought in the Vietnam War. I have the utmost respect for the men and women that fight for our freedom."

Devin McCourty expressed similar sentiments saying, "We just wanted to send a message of unity and being together and not standing for the disrespect."

Former Patriot Vince Wilfork had a reaction to President Trump's "You're fired" comment.

"He's the leader of this country and to talk to citizens the way he did, no matter what's going on, talk to us like that, is unacceptable hands down," Wilfork said. "The players are relaying their message on the platform and they have so they have every right to do that."

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he was deeply disappointed in the tone of President Trump's comments. He said his players are "Intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about the community, adding that he respects their right to peacefully effect social change.

Sunday afternoon, President Trump said that although he disagrees with Kraft, they're still friends.

"I like Bob very much. He's my friend. He gave me a Super Bowl ring a month ago. Right? So he's a good friend of mine," Trump said. "And I want him to do what he wants to do."

But President Trump echoed what he already said about bowing during the National Anthem.

"We have a great country. We have great people representing our country, especially our soldiers our first responders; and they should be treated with respect. When you get on your knee and you don't respect the American flag or the Anthem that's not being treated with respect."

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