Former Patriots player Matt Light reportedly said he was "ashamed" of his former teammates taking a knee during Sunday's game against Houston.
The three-time Super Bowl champion told the Boston Herald kneeling during the national anthem "would have never happened during my time" as the team's left tackle.
About 16 Patriots took a knee during the Sunday afternoon game, as approximately 200 National Football League players participated in a protest that day as a rebuke to criticism from President Donald Trump.
"If you think that it's OK to take a knee during our national anthem and disrespect openly the national anthem, you are wrong," Light reportedly said. "I don't care if you have a 'but what about' or a 'it's because of,' that doesn't matter."
During a rally Friday night in Alabama, Trump called on team owners to start firing or suspending players who were kneeling during the national anthem, which was started by then-San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick as a way to protest the treatment of black people by police.
Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady said on WEEI's Kirk & Callahan show Monday that he found Trump's comments "divisive."
"I just want to support my teammates," he said, adding, "I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust."
Team owner Robert Kraft also said he was "disappointed" with the president.
"Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful," he said in a statement on Sunday.