Cowboys made their Trump statement, now they will stand

Ross Houston
October 1, 2017

Mr Kaepernick is now a free agent after leaving the San Francisco 49ers in March 2017.

Terry, a 26-year veteran of the Air Force who comes from an African-American family with a long history of serving in the armed forces, noted via email, "When I stood up, raised my right hand and took the Oath of Enlistment I swore/affirmed that I would support and defend the Constitution of the United States".

"I'm not against the military".

Previously, only a handful of players had taken a knee during the anthem but last week, after Trump's comments, almost 200 chose to make their point.

When Jerry Jones and his Dallas Cowboys took a knee in unity before - not during - the National Anthem last Monday night, boos arose from some in the Arizona Cardinals' stadium. Some teams protested differently by staying in the locker room.

Frankly, in the case of the players' disrespect of the flag and what it stands for, those acts are turning people against them. "On September 21, 25% of Trump supporters said they had a very favorable view of the National Football League and 11% had a very unfavorable view", Morning Consult noted.

"You can not have people disrespecting our national anthem, our flag, our country", Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for a trip to Indiana. "To each his own", said one fan.

Is Mr. President right in saying this? Trump has said his comments have nothing to do with race but are about respecting the country and the flag. We didn't feel proud to be standing for America because we didn't feel that America offers anything worth being proud of. While some veterans' groups have questioned the mode of protest, some have come out openly in favour of the players.

They are kneeling, locking arms, sitting and even refusing to make an appearance during the anthem as a message to President Trump. For the President of the United States to suggest that a private institution like the National Football League should fire its employees is contrary to everything the American flag supposedly represents. "I ask! Ask ... not tell".

We as citizens who care about such values should boycott the purchase of NFL merchandise and not watch football on TV this weekend. African Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white people in America; and they are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people.

To be considered a "patriot" today, you apparently have to pledge loyalty to those in power no matter what they say or do.

Everything has to be people with one viewpoint pitted against people with a different viewpoint. I'm not on a side. I don't desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I thought I could be a support and an ally to Kaepernick, bringing attention to the issues that he was talking about. It's their freedom as Americans.

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