Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hullabaloo over protest hypocritical

I’m not a football fan so it took me a few days to catch onto the hoopla surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s choice to not stand at attention for the national anthem. Then I thought it would blow over and people would move on to more important matters. Weeks later I still see conservative outrage that a man would exercise his constitutional right to non-violent protest of injustice.

All the anger Kaepernick’s act has generated is deeply disturbing considering that the argument I hear most often from conservatives is that he has behaved disrespectfully toward our troops. Did you watch a game on television this weekend? Did you stand with hand over heart while the national anthem was played and the flag presented? If you watched a game and didn’t stand for the anthem weren’t you just as disrespectful?

How could anything be more disrespectful to our troops than sending them into a needless and illegal war in Iraq? Isn’t it disrespectful to our troops to say it is too expensive to provide those injured in war with the medical care and support services they need like Senator Jeff Sessions did in 2014?

Looking at it another way, the oath of enlistment our troops take upon entering service says: I “solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed ...”. Since the First Amendment of the United States Constitution says “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech…” isn’t Kaepernick’s choice to kneel instead of stand a constitutionally protected act which is what our troops have sworn to defend? How is that disrespectful?

If you really must take what goes on at football games so seriously then wasn’t it incredibly disrespectful for fans at several NFL games last Sunday booed with President Obama’s recorded tribute 9-11 tribute was played? If you’re going to call out Kaepernick that shouldn’t you be calling out those fans too? Oh wait, it seems that the same folks calling out Kaepernick are the fans booing our president.

When the Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks said of Pres. George W. Bush “we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas” they were called treasonous and received death threats. If you had a problem with the Dixie Chicks please explain why those booing President Obama aren’t treasonous too. The irony is that those doing the booing were also the ones who stopped buying Dixie Chick music.

We should be proud that Kaepernick and Maines felt comfortable making their protest; in many countries such acts could have cost them their lives or at the very least their freedom. Isn’t that what our troops fight for?


  1. Published in the Seguin Gazette September 16, 2016

  2. Published in the Seguin Gazette September 16, 2016