Do you believe kneeling to protest during the national anthem disrespects the troops?

Do you believe kneeling to protest during the national anthem disrespects the troops?

Kneeling to protest is quickly transforming into one of the most popular ways of defiance. It all began in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback – Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel while the national anthem was being played before the start of NFL games. He later stated that this was an attempt to protest racial injustice and systematic oppression of African-American people in the United States.

This became a vastly discussed subject in the media. The negative responses included USA President Donald Trump saying that professional athletes who protest during the US national anthem should be fired while positive responses included other athletes and celebrities publicly donning Kaepernick jerseys to voice support.

Proponents proudly captured the internet with messages like – “Refusing to stand for the National anthem is an acceptable manner of protest and is protected by the First Amendment.”

Colin Kaepernick said, “I’m not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color… To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who also knelt during the national anthem, said, “The message is I’m against social injustice… I’m not against the military or police or America at all.”

Many other athletes have since followed the trend and have continued kneeling.

Shirley Carole Isham, the direct descendant of Francis Scott Key, the author the Star Spangled Banner, said she was heartbroken that Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem to protest social injustice. Isham criticized the manner Colin decided to highlight the oppression of African Americans. “It’s very painful for me,’’ Isham said. “It just blows my mind that somebody like (Kaepernick) would do what he does to dishonor the flag of this country and the national anthem when we have young men and women overseas fighting for this county, people that have died for this country.”

Not all descendants of Francis Scott Key share Isham’s opinion. Suzanne Key Boyle Herrmann, who is a second cousin of Key, expressed support for Kaepernick. “He had every right to do what he did,” said Herrmann, 73, a social worker who lives in Morristown Township, N.J.” And because of what he did it has sparked conversation and conversation is so healthy in this country to have on the issues of equality and rights.”

The controversy continued as the President continued to tweet about the issue and others contributed opinions for and against kneeling during the anthem.

L et’s listen to a few comments by Military Veterans –

Rocio Serna – U.S. Army veteran[i]

“I feel that the affairs of NFL players are somewhat trivial at the feet of the United States president. I study psychology, and we look at everything as a symptom of something bigger—of a deeper issue. NFL protesting is just a symptom of a deep-rooted issue. President Trump needs to be focusing on the deep-rooted issues, not the symptom.”

Michael Rodriguez – Green Beret veteran

“I just think they don’t know what they’re doing. Ignorance is the watchword right now. I’ll be honest, I pity them. I feel sorry for them because they don’t realize the luxuries and safety and freedoms they’re blessed with. That’s what the flag represents: everything they’re blessed with, the millions of dollars these guys have, all the luxuries they have.”

In a nutshell, proponents justify the action considering it a legal form of peaceful protest under the First Amendment. Opponents consider it disrespectful to the country and the people who have risked their lives or died defending the United States.

You have invested your lives to protect the country’s sovereignty! What are your thoughts? Do you consider kneeling to protest as disrespectful towards the troops?


[i] 4 Veterans Respond to NFL National Anthem Protests. https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a13788869/4-veterans-nfl-national-anthem-protests/

20 Comments
  • Trevor Jones
    Posted at 21:07h, 24 February Reply

    I’m sorry you or your loved ones risked their lives but I never would. I would dodge any draft or refuse to fight. Because I do not believe in what this country stands for. Capitalism by exploitation. Pushing addictive and unhealthy foods. Its all wrong to me and if your war disabled vet father finds that disrespectful than he should remember that I HAVE THE RIGHT TO FEEL THIS WAY. And how fucking dare you and him disrespect the constitution that this country was built on by telling me how I have to act while the national anthem is playing. Forcing solidarity is fascism.

  • Letitia
    Posted at 09:52h, 15 January Reply

    Man, to hell with that flag. It has never did anything for me and I refuse to pledge my allegiance to a cloth but only God. This you can’t make me do.

    • Hayden
      Posted at 19:55h, 06 March Reply

      You should at least thank the people that died for you freedoms, unless you wish to live in a corrupt country.

  • Jesse
    Posted at 03:00h, 31 December Reply

    How one treats the symbol of our freedom is a determining factor on how they should be treated sir, would you let somebody get away with shitting on your Mothers grave?

  • Karri Barrow
    Posted at 19:51h, 21 December Reply

    My Dad is 100% service disabled like many others out there and the ” Take a Knee” movement is disrespectful to those that fought and died for this country and everyone that live here. If you hate America so badly then leave. If you feel so strong about a cause then fix it the thing is after Kapernick started this knee bit he didn’t even vote at the election. So that tells you he is nothing but all talk no action he don’t really care about anything or anyone but himself. Also I will never by a pair of Nike shoes again because unlike him I will fight for what I believe. To every military person who reads this I want to say Thank You for serving our great country.

  • PC
    Posted at 15:33h, 17 December Reply

    I completely agree with Nar. I’m a vet also and in no way find kneeling disrespectful. In most cultures kneeling is a sign of respect. He chose to kneel at the behest of a former NFL player and US veteran, as to not disrespect the flag. There are many people who exercise their right not to stand for the Anthem just as many Americans chose for their children not to be forced to say the pledge of allegiance in school. Stop trying to change the narrative and impose your beliefs on someone else. What you may think it’s un-American is very American to someone else. I joined the U S military to protect that very right.

  • PC
    Posted at 15:30h, 17 December Reply

    I completely agree with Nar. I’m a vet also and in no way find kneeling disrespectful. In most cultures kneeling is a sign of respect. He chose to kneel at the behest of former NFL player and US veteran, as to not disrespect the flag. There are many people who exercise their right not to stand for the Anthem just as many Americans chose for their children not to be forced to say the pledge of allegiance in school. Stop trying to change the narrative and impose your beliefs on someon else. What you may think it’s un-American is very American to someone else. I joined the U S military to protect that very right.

    • Jordan Velez
      Posted at 12:25h, 03 February Reply

      I disagree. It is that very attitude that ruins the history of this country. If you come to America, you choose to be apart of something. Something that obviously an individual wanted to be part of. If you choose to be part of something you can’t take it “a la carte” and only take what you want. Only doing what works for you doesn’t help anything. All it does is make Americans change their morals and stance on their country. If a person is here that believes that should be the case then they are here for self service and not that that holds the best interest of the USA. As for the kneeling, you have a right to protest when and how it was done is disrespectful. You stand for those who give you your freedom. You protest on your time your dollar.

  • aintfoolingme
    Posted at 13:14h, 12 December Reply

    To the kneelers who really believe they are helping a nation heal and be on one accord, you should be ashamed to teach our youth the flag symbolizes anything other than the hopes and dreams of a nation.

    All law enforcement agents are not law breakers and all people of color are not criminals.

    Why not do something to create jobs, or teach our youth what happens to our young men in jails and prisons and now our young women.

    Why not take your millions that you are giving away and help youth at risk in being forced to join a gang.

    Or build community centers where they can go to get off the streets. Why not open trade centers where they can go and learn a trade.

    Why not protest against low hanging pants and the showing of bras and panties?

    You have no regards as to how your actions are being perceived by our youth or what they will do with the perception and how many will die at the hands of those rogue law enforcement agents who are looking for a reason to kill.

    You make your millions and create strife and dare to use the flag as your symbol of hate, the same flag that my Daddy defended as did many before him for you and your fellow ball players to be free to play ball and get rich on the backs of those you say you are fighting for.

  • Bray
    Posted at 17:53h, 06 December Reply

    I understand that he has the rights to do this. I just don’t think that not respecting the military has ANYTHING to do with police brutality. He should organize another event to say this.

  • Daniel Miller
    Posted at 07:03h, 05 December Reply

    I truly do not understand how kneeling during our countries is protesting against police departments. There are police departments throughout the world not just in the US. Our countries anthem is also representing more than just police. As I respect law enforcement disrespecting the entire country is not a way to protest one part of our country. How about the military, fire, EMS, truck drivers, store clerks, gas attendants and so on.

  • Nar
    Posted at 18:53h, 25 November Reply

    As a Vet I say in no way is it disrespectful. To hear veterans who swore to uphold and protect the Constitution cry about someone exercising their freedom is pathetic. Stop getting caught up YOUR feelings. Whether a person stands or doesn’t stand is not a determining factor for how they should be treated. The Amish don’t stand for the national anthem. Jehovah Witnesses don’t stand it. I don’t hear people bashing them. This was never about the troops. The people who are bashing them are not doing it in defense of the flag or the troops. They are doing it because they don’t care about the issue that was raised and they damn sure don’t want to talk about.

  • Ben Herrington
    Posted at 09:13h, 22 November Reply

    If we really served for freedoms like freedom of speech, we wouldn’t think to restrict someone’s use of that right. You either served to uphold and defend the rights guaranteed in the constitution or you didn’t. No grey area. You don’t have to agree with the protest to agree with the right to protest. We’re supposed to be the land of the free, let’s be brave enough to actually be that…

  • Tahnya F Dorsey
    Posted at 03:42h, 20 November Reply

    There are other more respectful ways to protest. The flag is draped over a dead serviceman’s body when they die. That same flag stands for all that have perished for this flag. A flag should unite, not be used as a tool for politics. In fact if you did this in the military I think you’d be Court marshalled. I watched service men die for a cause they believed in only for it to be used as a political tool. You wouldn’t have the country you have if it weren’t for these brave men and women…I fill those ranks as well… If you want to protest, do it like Martin Luther King. But don’t disrespect my flag. It is counter productive.

    • Bray
      Posted at 17:54h, 06 December Reply

      He shouldnt be doing this here it should be at a different event

  • steve aldrich
    Posted at 20:40h, 18 November Reply

    I don’t care what the protesters say; I still believe the action of kneeling during the National Anthem shows disrespect toward veterans! The kneelers may in fact believe they are protesting something else, but it still comes across as disrespectful of veterans.

  • Derreal Johnson
    Posted at 15:10h, 01 November Reply

    Yes. First we don’t pay football players to hear their political views, we pay them to play football. This is a sad situation and one that really only exist because of the lack of leadership from coaches. If I were the coach I could solve this problem in one day simply by saying: “As long as your on my team, you either stand for the national anthem or get off of the field. If you’re on the field and don’t stand, you’re not going to play the game, and if you do it twice your off the team”.

  • Jackie Clayton Wells Jr.
    Posted at 17:49h, 22 September Reply

    Players not standing during the National Anthem should be escorted out of our United States and band from ever coming back…….protest on your on time !!

  • Walter D. Johnson
    Posted at 22:16h, 09 September Reply

    I went out to unfurl the flag on my house. It was wind-furled and raining. I was sad Old Glory was wet and furled. As I unfurled her it occurred to me that she had stood through a little more than rain and wind. She’ll stand through this. She is actually way above all this. She represents freedom to all those who struggle to come here, even to those who despise her, trample her and burn her in effigy. Old Glory has flown over trampled enemies; Nazi, Rising Sun, Jihads. Who intended to bring her down. She has been carried by her boys and girls, tattered, holed, burnt ad bloodied. The ignorant few will never out weigh the mass of veterans who bled, died, limp and roll, to see her fly in prosperity pride, and freedom. My flag wind-furled and rain soaked flag is a symbol of all that is great about America. Symbols are very difficult to destroy. Long may She wave.
    PS. A bunch of kneeling-rich-guys can’t harm the National Anthem either. It’s about a symbol!
    Long may it play.

  • George Perez-Stillwagon
    Posted at 07:00h, 29 December Reply

    Yes. The USA Flag, Our National Anthem, and Troops should be left out of any protest, personal gain etc. We cannot use what has built America as a tool for a protest no matter what the issue is.

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