WWE Hall Of Famer Booker T recently interviewed WWE Superstar Randy Orton on his Houston Sports Radio 610 show Heated Conversations. You can check out some highlights from the interview here:
On his recent Twitter rant regarding people not standing during the National Anthem at NFL games:
“I basically said that Americans are dying, no matter the color of their skin, Americans are dying. And I also said courage is what it takes to stand up and fight, not kneel or raise the fist during the National Anthem. I got a lot of backlash, the comments that I saw the most were ‘how can you speak about courage and stand up and fight, when you got a bad conduct discharge from the United States Marine Corps?’ And I’d like to address that first off. That was 18-years ago Book, I was 18-years-old. Went straight into the United States Marine Corps Boot Camp out in San Diego, California. I graduated boot camp with a meritorious promotion, went on to the school of infantry where I was a squad leader and a guide. And when I went to the fleet — and I’m not here to talk about all the negative things I saw that made me come to this realization — but there were things that I wasn’t proud of seeing or proud of being a part of. But what I realized was that I didn’t have the courage to die for my country. But knowing that about myself I saw that in many of the other men and women that I was down there with, young men and women, you could see in their eyes that they were of that patriotic spirit Book where they would put their life on the line for this country. The country with the American flag, United States Of America, that’s courage right there.
“And now here we are 18 years later and a lot of these men and women served their country well, some of them might have lost their lives. Some of them might have come home paralyzed from the waist down, the neck down, amputees,unable to make love to their spouses. Unable to go swimming with their children, unable to walk the dog or take their kids to the park, depression, different types of mental illness from all the types of mental stress they went through. That sacrifice right there that they made and that sacrifice that their families gave for them to either die or be brutally hurt, for their country. That’s why I think you should stand up for the flag. Taking a knee, listen everyone has their right to their opinion, and I do believe that. And I respect everyone else’s opinion. And all these comments that I read, I went through them, and a few of them I kind of laughed at but nonetheless they’re opinions. That’s my stance man.”
On Colin Kaepernick’s protest:
“So here’s my thing. The issues he’s kneeling for, I respect that he is kneeling for those issues. I just disagree with his way of showing that it’s an issue to him. You hear a lot of people say ‘he sat the bench, he’s looking for attention’, whether that’s true or not. Listen he’s got a voice he’s in the public eye, that’s what all those social media followers are for,” Orton said. “I want to hear what the man has to say. And in the recent weeks he’s talked about what his issue was, and again I respect those issues man this world is a scary place. People are dying. There’s a lot of issues and everyone needs to unite together, as hard as that may seem Book, and talk about the issues. Kneeling when the National Anthem is played, when the Pledge Of Allegiance is played, I just disagree with the way that he did it. That’s all.”
(All transcribed quotes courtesy of Wrestling Inc.)