Photo of WWII vet taking a knee supporting NFL players goes vira - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Photo of WWII vet taking a knee supporting NFL players goes viral

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John Middlemas (PHOTO: Twitter) John Middlemas (PHOTO: Twitter)
KHQ.com -

A photo of a 97-year-old World War II veteran taking a knee in support of NFL players has gone viral. 

Brennan Gilmore tweeted the photo of his grandpa, John Middlemas, on Twitter Sunday morning and it has since been retweeted 147,000 times and "liked" nearly 387,000 times. 

"My grandpa is a 97 year-old WWII vet & Missouri farmer who wanted to join (with) those who #Takeaknee: 'those kids have every right to protest,' " wrote Brennan Gilmore as a caption to the photo.

In an interview with USA Today, Middlemas said, "I wanted to communicate what I always told to my grandkids and everybody else. When they'd go to bed at night, we'd tell the kids we wanted to be like Jesus...I'm trying to say that you have to love everybody."

Middlemas added he hopes "the whole world" will get his message. "We don't kill people. We want to make people live."

"Grandpa has been an ally to the civil rights movement for many years. He's an amazing man always on the side of justice," Gilmore added later in a tweet. 

President Trump called for NFL owners to fire players that kneel and said people should walk out of games if they see players protesting. Many NFL players responded with protests during the national anthem Sunday, including the Seahawks, Titans and Steelers who all stayed in the locker room during the anthem. 

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