As noted, Randy Orton was the recent guest on “Heated Conversations with Booker T”, which you can listen to in full at this link. Below are some interview quotes from Orton:
On His Recent Twitter Comments Regarding Patriotism:
Well, first of all, for anyone listening that didn’t get to see what I posted on Twitter; I basically said, Americans are dying. No matter the color of their skins, Americans are dying. I also said that it is courage that takes to stand up and fight or not kneeling or raising your fist during the national anthem. For that comment, I received a lot of backlash. A lot of people, the comments that I got the most was, how can you speak about courage and stand up and fight when you were discharged from the United States Marine Corp? I would like to address that first. First off, that was 18 years ago Book. I was 18 years old, went to the boot camp in San Diego, CA. I graduated boot camp with meritorious promotion. Went on to the school of infantry where I went on to become a squad leader, and the guide. I’m not here to talk about the negative things that I saw that made me come to this realization; but I saw things that I wasn’t proud of. What I realize was that I didn’t have the courage to die for my country, but knowing that about myself, I saw in many of the other men and women, young men and women, you can see it in their eyes that they were that patriotic spirit where they would put their life on the line for this country, for that American flag, United States of America, that is courage right there. Here we are 18 years later, a lot of these men and women served their country well. Some of them might have lost their lives, some may have come home paralyzed, amputees, unable to make love to their spouses, unable to go swimming with their children, unable to walk their dogs or take them to the park; depression, different types of mental illnesses that they went through (PTSD). That is all sacrifice right there that they gave and sacrifice that their family gave to them to die, or be brutally hurt for their country, that is why I think you should stand up for the flag; taking a knee, listen, everyone has a right to their opinion, and I do believe that, and respect everyone else’s opinion. Some of these comments, I went through them; some of them I laughed at, but nonetheless their opinions. That is my stance.
On His Issues with Colin Kaepernick Taking a Knee During the National Anthem:
Here’s my thing. The issues that he is kneeling for, I respect that. I just disagree with his way of showing that it is an issue to him. You hear a lot of people say, he’s on the bench now so he is seeking attention, whether that is true or not, listen, he has a voice, he’s in the public eye, that is exactly what social media followers are for, that is what radio and tv are for, and interviews are for. Taking a knee, he is a superstar and a role model for a lot of these kids that didn’t grow up in a household where they know these issues like Colin does, so when they see that, they think, oh, that’s cool, I’m going to do that too. I just feel like that is cheap way out. I would rather hear what the man has to say. I know within the recent weeks, he has talked about what his issues were, and again, I respect issues, we all need to unite together; and as hard as it may seem, we can talk about the issues. Kneeling when the national anthem is being played, the pledge of allegiance is being played, I just disagree with the way he did it. That’s all.
On Peaceful Protesting vs Evil Protesting:
I respect and understand that wholeheartedly, and I agree with you about protesting. It’s funny you bring that up with all the things that are going on in Charlotte; it is definitely a tragedy, and I believe that a lot of those protesters are there for the right reasons, and want their voices to be heard and are pissed the hell off for what happened. Then it also gives an excuse for the small amount that I would like to name the “evil people,” who would like to use that as an opportunity to go down and wreak havoc.
On His Issue with A Teacher Stepping on the American Flag:
I don’t like it. I agree with you. He has the right to protest; that is why we are Americans. We have the freedom of speech, we are able to hold hands in protest and stand up for what we believe in, and have people hear what you have to say. Kneeling is a very non-violent way to make a stand, but I still disagree with that. There was a teacher, and I don’t know if it’s related but I retweeted it, and added a little something to it a day before. There was a teacher who stepped on the American flag during a school presentation or something like that; and like, to me, I disagree with that. Now, I am sure he has the right reasons for doing it, but still, that act to me is piss poor, and there are so many other places in the world. Can you imagine; these people are coming to the United States in large quantities because this is the best place on earth to live, and now there are places in the world, but I’ll look through my Twitter feed and man, it’s sickening, I have to put my phone away because of all the heartache all over the world and this country, but this is the greatest country that anyone can ever live in, but I don’t understand stepping on the flag.