On the same night the National Football League’s season opener featured Nike’s controversial Colin Kaepernick ad, one Miss America contestant advanced through the preliminary round after addressing the NFL kneeling protests.
Miss Virginia Emili McPhail was asked Thursday night in Atlantic City what advice she would give NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem.
″[It’s] a right you have. But it’s also not about kneeling; it is absolutely about police brutality,” McPhail said, according to NBC News. The answer won her the On Stage Question portion of the competition.
Reporters asked McPhail later if she was worried her answer would not sit right with a portion of the American public, including President Donald Trump. “I stood up for what I believed was right,” the 22-year-old replied.
The 2019 Miss America competition will air Sunday night on ABC.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.