Farmer Writes Massive Message to NFL in One of His Fields

October 10, 2017 Updated: October 11, 2017

A farmer in North Dakota sent a message to NFL players who protest.

“We stand for the National Anthem,” Gene Hanson, 77, of Edgely, wrote in one of his fields.

Hanson plowed the sentence into his bean crops, and it spans two football fields. It’s in response to the protest carried out by some NFL players who have been kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Hanson sent a photo of the field to Fox News on Tuesday.

“I go with [President] Trump on this one,” Hanson said Tuesday. “If you want to protest, that’s not the place to do it.”

He added, “A lot of people died over our flag. We’re able to voice our opinion because of it. If you’re going to show respect for anything, do it for the national anthem.”

Hanson said that he doesn’t use any technology—like GPS—to carry out the work.

It “works out pretty good in a harvested bean field,” he added. Then, he gets in his plane and takes a photo with a camera and posts it on social media.

Previous messages written in his field include “Drain the Swamp,” “Blue Lives Matter,” “Feel the Bern,” “GOP, get your act together,” and “Vote Trump.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, Oct. 10, said in a letter to all 32 NFL team owners that the protests during the national anthem are becoming an issue.

He said that the “current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country,” according to the Kansas City Star.

The anthem protests were triggered last year when ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down and took a knee as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was playing. After that, more and more players during last and this season took knees or engaged in other demonstrations during the song. President Donald Trump spoke out against it in September.

“Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!” he wrote on Tuesday morning.

Goodell said that while the national anthem isn’t mentioned in the official NFL rulebook, players “should” stand, according to the league’s operation manual.

“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” Goodell wrote in his letter.

“It is an important moment in our game,” Goodell added. “We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”