(KFVS) - "It's gotten to a point where it's almost not about the flag. and its about the protest," said former NFL player and SIU head football coach Nick Hill.
Hill said he thinks it's time for all of us to look at what the national anthem is.
"We wouldn't be playing this game if it wasn't for the men and women that went over a fought for us and they risked their lives and that's a time for reflection for that."
Hill and Southeast Missouri State head coach Tom Matukewicz (muh-TOOK-uh-WITS) both said the same thing, dividing as a country isn't going to help.
"I'm not sure what the answer is but I know at our current pace this is going to lead to no where good. so we've got to figure out where we're at and we've really got to try to work together," said Matukewicz.
"This is a real thing, its a huge issue. and we've got to come together as a country," said Hill.
Both Heartland coaches said they are using this as a teaching moment for their players.
"Stay together even in the hard time, especially when its hard. and this is something that we talked about this morning that I will continue to talk about tonight."
"I'm thankful that football can bring us all together and on Saturday our fans can be cheering for one common goal and its not a skin color or anything like that."