In today’s era, especially in the past 25 years, we have witnessed the deterioration of our long established culture and true morals of our beloved nation. As a proud, 16 year member of the American Legion, I feel it is my duty to voice a complaint — I hope on behalf of the entire American legion membership in our great country — in reference to the disrespect of the American Flag, particularly, the disrespect shown by Colin Kaepernick of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers football team.
His refusal to stand for the playing of our national anthem and his deliberate disrespect to our country and flag was a great disservice to all Americans, armed service members, veterans of our military forces, and to all who have given their life for our flag and country. I’m surprised his teammates did not help him to his feet. The actions of Kaepernick have driven the wedge deeper within racial tension in this country. The owners of the San Francisco 49ers should have reprimanded his behavior and requested that he not protest in this way after the first insulting display. It has done nothing but reflect badly on his team and the NFL.
Technically, this display was his right to free speech, but to me, and to countless others, it was not right. Compliance with the law would solve a lot of problems in this country.
For a so called professional athlete to carry on this way is just hard to understand. Kaepernick claimed that it was his “right” to protest in this manner due to the oppression of African-Americans in our country. While disgracing America in this particular manner was disgusting and unwarranted. We all know there are issues in our country that need attention. It was under the American flag that slavery in this country was ended, the Civil Rights bill passed, and an African-American was elected to the highest office in our great country.
Have you noticed in recent years at such NFL sporting events, rarely is a university or high school band present to play the National Anthem. At one recent NFL game, a young lady offered her talents to play the National Anthem on a violin. Not to demean her efforts, but I feel it would have been more inspiring to our beloved flag to hear the roll of drums and blaring brass horns. More inspiring still would have been to see and hear the people assembled to sing the National Anthem.
Colin Kaepernick has overcome his problems as a youth and became a successful professional football player of the NFL. No amount of fame or money could justify the disrespect to the flag and our country. It disheartens me that so many support his actions, including fans, team members and staff.
Part of it is due to the never ending “political correctness” we encounter daily by the media. The so called news is filled with the latest online videos of egotistical individuals who only want to make the evening news. These videos and newsworthy stories have become pets of the media. An accepted and emboldened form of news. To me, disrespectful display to the flag is disgusting and should not be highlighted for any so called cause.
Thanks to the media we have to put up with the constant disrespect to our country and the encouragement of said disrespect. Wake up America.
Wallace Hatfield and Joe Struble
Members of American Legion Post 39, Pomeroy, Ohio