I do try to stay out of politics on this site.
I really do. However, with each passing week, I have become more displeased with the NFL players.
Deadline Hollywood reported that before the most recent Seattle Seahawks game, Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson, Cliff Avril, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, Quinton Jefferson, Marcus Smith, Branden Jackson, Nazair Jones, Justin Britt, Oday Aboushi, and Michael Wilhoite knelt during the anthem. CBS didn’t cover this news story and instead continued coverage of a golf tournament.
The players say their protest is about racial inequality, or due to insensitive comments from team owners, or a host of other things. This message confusion leads me to believe they don’t have a real reason for protesting. However, standing for the anthem or flag is a gesture of respect and should never be forced upon anyone. If you don’t want to stand, put your hand over your heart or salute that should be your choice. Peaceful protest is part of the freedom we have in the United States and should not be interfered with.
So, they have the right to kneel.
However, for me, the anthem, written during the dark hours of the War of 1812, is an expression of hope and freedom.
“Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Like the flag and the Declaration of Independence, the anthem is the ideal we strive to obtain. They are the goal, not the problem.
I am a United States Navy combat veteran. I stood in the gap and protected my family and country. I did my part. I’ve also been a Seahawks fan since the early Jim Zorn and Steve Largent days. However, now when the current Seattle players kneel during the anthem, they do it on the soil of a free country that it has been my honor to protect.
Kneeling is the protected protest action the players have chosen to do. I have also decided to take action. My protest actions won’t gain any media attention or threaten the profits of the league or players, but these acts are my choice and my right.
I will not buy any NFL or team branded items. I will not buy tickets to Seattle games or in any other way contribute to NFL or Seahawk profits. My wife is also a fan and wants to continue to watch the games on TV. I hope we can continue to do that together, but that will be up to the Seahawks and the NFL.