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Gladys Knight Praying SB Nat'l Anthem Unites America

1/18/2019 9:37 AM PST

Gladys Knight Praying Super Bowl Nat'l Anthem Unites America

Breaking News

Gladys Knight is adamant she does NOT have a problem with Colin Kaepernick and his protest -- but says she's hoping her national anthem performance at the Super Bowl can unite the country,. 

"I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things and they are police violence and injustice," the 74-year-old said in a statement.

"It is unfortunate that our National Anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the National Anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone."

Of course, Knight is referencing Colin's decision to take a knee during the 'Star-Spangled Banner' during NFL games. Kap had said the demonstration is intended to put a spotlight on police violence against minorities. 

Knight continued in her statement ... 

"I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3 to give the Anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life, from walking back hallways, from marching with our social leaders, from using my voice for good."

"I have been in the forefront of this battle longer than most of those voicing their opinions to win the right to sing our country’s Anthem on a stage as large as the Super Bowl LIII." 

"No matter who chooses to deflect with this narrative and continue to mix these two in the same message, it is not so and cannot be made so by anyone speaking it."

"I pray that this National Anthem will bring us all together in a way never before witnessed and we can move forward and untangle these truths which mean so much to all of us."

Kaepernick -- along with his girlfriend, close friends and celebrities -- have been critical of musicians who have agreed to perform at the Super Bowl. Rap star Common has even called for Travis Scott to pull out of the halftime show. 

As for Colin's thoughts on Gladys -- so far, he has not issued a comment. 

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