"They're not disrespecting the flag, they're actually saying what this flag stands for," the TV personality says on Monday.
Adrienne Bailon passionately defended NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem over the weekend.
On Monday's episode of "The Real," the co-host explained that she reached out to her father -- a Marine and Vietnam War veteran -- before hitting the stage and sharing her opinion supporting athletes like Colin Kaepernick.
"I asked my dad and said, 'I don't want to get on there and talk about this today and say something that's going to disrespect you or the military,'" she explained. "That's never something I wanna do. There's people out there fighting, we all have the choice, don't forget saluting, you have the right to fight for your country and get out there and serve. Kneeling is the smallest thing in my opinion."
"He said, 'You know what baby, I fought for people to have freedom of speech,'" she continued, tearing up as she spoke. "I love my dad because he said freedom of speech in Spanish, in Chinese, in Arabic and that's what these people are fighting for. They're not disrespecting the flag, they're actually saying what this flag stands for. It stands for you to have the right to say what you feel, to have the freedom of speech and more importantly, that they're doing it in a peaceful way."
Bailon's comments come after Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Donald Trump saying NFL owners should fire any "son of a bitch" who wouldn't stand for the anthem.
"It's always appropriate for the president of this country to promote our flag," Sanders said. "This isn't about the president being against anyone. This is about the president and Americans being for something."