Veterans perspective guides moral sensibilities

The NFL protest from the eyes of an U.S. Army veteran


By Anthony Kinney, Associate Editor

As the National Football League enters its eighth week and teams still struggle to get anything going on offense (cough, cough…49ers…) Super Bowl quarterback turned activist turned America’s favorite villain is still out of a job.

Good ol’ American “Patriots” (not the football team) continue to vilify Colin Kaepernick whenever his name is brought up in debates for simply exercising his First Amendment rights in such a clever way that swiftly and effectively turned America’s attention to an undeniable and ongoing issue facing minorities in the United States — police brutality and systemic oppression.

However, his protest was quickly hijacked, rebranded by haters and described as disrespectful to the national anthem and flag by the highest office in the land.

As a military veteran, I have boldly and proudly placed my life on the line to protect the freedoms and liberties that all American citizens enjoy, even though some use their rights to bash others for exercising their own.

With his false notion, Trump was able to convince America’s majority to shun the former 49er quarterback and his noble protest by pushing the misleading perspective that he and other players, who kneel during the national anthem, “spit in the face” of America, and in the process to ignore the issues Kaepernick was trying to get America to address.

The truth is, America has been spitting in the face of people of color, especially African-Americans, since its inception.

The relentless attack on the NFL players’ protest is yet another blatant attempt to ignore the plight of black America and remind us that our issues are not of any concern of the country.

I proudly support Kaepernick and the other players’ protest to shed light on racial inequalities.

I don’t subscribe to the ridiculous idea now that these players are rich professional athletes who don’t deserve the right to stand up (or kneel) for what they believe in.

To some fans, players are expected to just collect a check and turn a blind eye to the injustices that plague the communities they grew up in.

That’s wrong.

I commend those men for risking it all and using their fame and platform to promote such a critical issue impacting the African-American community.

Meanwhile, Trump continues his onslaught on people of color via Twitter against the widow of a fallen Green Beret and Florida congresswoman who felt the president was insensitive during a phone conversation he placed to the widow while attempting to express his condolences.

Instead of issuing an apology to the family, he lashes out in the typical “Twitter Trump” fashion we have grown to hate.

The White House has confirmed that the president has no intention of attempting to make amends with the pregnant widow who is now left with three kids to raise without the support of their father, a man who will be deemed a hero for courageously enduring the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country.

I’m disgusted by the president’s inability to support this widow in her time of grieving by apologizing to her and the family of this slain soldier.

It undoubtedly adds to the white supremacist perception he possesses.

Unfortunately, the racial division in America will continue to widen if our president continues to allow those white supremacist tendencies that corrupts the system to continue to run amok unchallenged.

A divided America is not what I, and so many my comrades, risked our lives for.