"Take A Knee ... My Ass" Brought This Country Singer Back Into The Spotlight (HBO)
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This past November, Neal McCoy, a country singer from Texas who had a string of hits in the nineties, decided to take a stand. During a show in Missouri, McCoy unveiled a song titled "Take a Knee, My Ass," which criticized NFL players who had decided to protest police brutality and systemic racism during the national anthem. McCoy, whose father served in the United States Army, believed that their gesture was disrespectful to the sacrifice US Army veterans had given to the country.
His song's lyrics, which include the chorus, "I think of those whose freedom was not free and I say, 'take a knee, my ass,'" were meant to be a patriotic statement and a rallying cry for conservatives and patriots, who McCoy believes have not been vocal enough on the topic.
"Take a Knee My Ass" went viral, with millions of views across streaming music platforms, YouTube and Facebook Live. But it also generated an almost instant backlash that included veterans who did not agree with the song's message.
VICE News met with McCoy and his good friend Wayne Newton in Las Vegas to talk about the song, the meaning of patriotism, and Colin Kaepernick's place in the fight for racial justice in America.
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