Miss America Contestant Gives Refreshing Response When Asked About NFL Protests

On Thursday during the Miss America preliminaries, one contestant was asked a question about the controversy surrounding the NFL protests. As many people know, some contestants in previous pageants have given not-so-great responses about serious issues.
However, Emili McPhail–Miss Virginia–was prepared and on-point with her response, winning her the preliminary onstage question scholarship of $1,000.

McPhail was asked what she would advise the NFL with regard to kneeling during the national anthem. She responded:

Kneeling during the national anthem is absolutely a right that you have to stand up for what you believe in, and to make the right decision that’s right for you. It’s very important that we also have to take into consideration that it is not about kneeling: It is absolutely about police brutality.

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My last appearance before I check into Miss America ??? be sure to follow the @missamericava Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (especially Instagram and FB stories) to stay updated on the week. Thank you to @theembersband for having me last night and supporting the Margret R. Baker Foundation! Another thanks to Rick Myers for this photos ?

A post shared by Emili McPhail (@emlizphail) on

She later said about her response:

“I said standing up for what you believe in is the most important thing that you can do, and that’s what I did. I was very happy to have that moment to be honest, because it’s not always easy.”

People on Twitter were thankful that she was so honest in her response.