Top of the evening to all, and especially to my readers from the United States.
It is impossible to miss the craziness going on in the US right now. I fear for the country. I have never been witness to the social fabric being so torn asunder.
One of the topics of overblown discussion is athletes from the NFL taking a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner. It is their way of protesting police brutality. Due to the President's response, it has also become the standard (pun intended) for demonstrating anti-Trump sentiments.
On one level, it is a free speech issue. All those who refuse to stand for the national anthem are well within their legal rights to do so. It must be noted though that football teams are private businesses. Players are generally required to meet certain standards of demeanour within their contracts. The New York Yankees require their players to maintain certain grooming standards. It is in every contract. For a team to fire a player over taking a knee is not a Constitutional matter of free speech.
Those who are taking a stand against kneeling and otherwise avoiding the anthem keep pointing to the military members who have put their lives on the line and sometimes paid the ultimate price in the defense of the nation. Please do not make this about me. It is not about the military. It is not about those who have paid that ultimate price. Those who take that risk did so out of love of country. I also believe that those who would take a knee believe in America no less than those who have taken that risk.
And thus, love of country is the only thing that is relevant in this discussion. If those who take a knee feel that the country they love needs to be called to task for its behaviour, then so be it. Their love of country is no less than those who insist on standing. I flatly disagree with those who take a knee, and am happy to discuss it with them, but perhaps they are bringing up issues that need to be considered.
Whatever the reasons for not taking a bow might be, please do not make me one of them. This has nothing to do with veterans. This has to do with the country. Leave me out of it.
Have a good evening.