Auston Matthews says while American athletes have the right to protest during the U.S. national anthem, he will not be taking a knee along with them.

The Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 20-year-old star forward from Arizona said he feels it is disrespectful to kneel, sit or otherwise publicly protest during pre-game renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

He says he feels it’s "a dishonour" to members of the military who "fight for the flag," pointing out that he has an uncle and other friends and family members who have served their country.

"I don’t think I’d be one of the people who would take part in that," he said at training camp.

At least 200 NFL players either knelt, sat, stretched or prayed during pre-game anthems on Sunday as part of a protest against racial inequality in the U.S. that gathered steam when President Donald Trump castigated protesting players, going so far as to tell team owners to "get that son of a bitch off the field.

Matthews, who admits he’s not a "big politics guy," says he understands athletes using a platform to "send a message."