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Some House Democrats Are Taking A Knee On The House Floor To Protest Trump

The take-a-knee protests continue to spread, and now they've even reached the House floor.

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You may have heard NFL athletes have been taking a knee during the national anthem in the last couple of days.

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

It's a fire President Donald Trump resparked — and continues to fuel — that people have lost their damn minds over. But basically it started last week, when Trump said that anyone who does not kneel during the national anthem is a "son of a bitch" who should be fired.

Kneeling during the anthem began last year with then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was making a statement against how minorities are treated by police.

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

"This has nothing to do with race. I never said anything about race. This has nothing to do with race or anything else. This has to do with respect for our country and respect for our flag," Trump said in defense of his position on the matter.

In the last couple of days, the protests have spread beyond sports. And they recently reached the US Capitol.

A couple of members of the US House of Representatives decided they wanted to take a knee too.

Proud to kneel in defense of 1st Amendment. https://t.co/unFA2ZBeBb #KneeIsTaken @realDonaldTrump #TrumpRussia @HouseDemocrats

First is was Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, who addressed the matter on Monday.

"There is no regulation that says these young men cannot stand against the dishonoring of their mothers by you calling them fire the son of a B. You tell me which of those children's mothers are a son of a B. That is racism. You cannot deny it," Jackson Lee said.

And New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman followed suit.

I will #TakeAKnee. I will #ReclaimMyTime. I will raise my fist. Stay awake, stay alert, and be ready to mobilize. https://t.co/APBnXZl19E

"It should not be lost on us that when referencing white supremacy and neo-Nazism, Donald Trump saw fit to speak with calculated language, unlike the phrases he used to describe the black men and their mothers who used their platform to highlight longstanding injustices," Watson Coleman said.

The congresswoman's office said she was unable to physically kneel because of a knee injury despite her desire to do so.

On Tuesday morning, the president shot off several more tweets related to the NFL.

The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our National Anthem!

They included one that suggested the NFL make a "rule" that says "you can't kneel during our National Anthem!"

The latest member to kneel on the House floor is Rep. Mark Pocan from Wisconsin.

I’m proud to #TakeAKnee on the House Floor and show support for Americans across the country who are protesting aga… https://t.co/Ec4qPOQ6zW

"Taking a knee may have started as a protest about racial inequality. ... I think today taking a knee is becoming a broader sign of patriotism and respect for our country," Pocan said on the floor.

Pocan also brought with him a "small" list of things Trump has not criticized on Twitter, including pumpkin spice lattes.

"I think this really started from obviously the behavior in some law enforcement. ... Now thanks to President Trump, I mean, this is a statement about nonviolent protest," Pocan told BuzzFeed News.

"I think this is just something that people were doing kind of on their own," Pocan said when asked if other House Democrats have planned to take a knee on the floor. "There's nothing organized that is planned."

Lissandra Villa is a politics reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Lissandra Villa at lissandra.villahuerta@buzzfeed.com.

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