It isn’t difficult to understand the frustration of black Americans who see their compatriots killed by white officers in seemingly unreasonable and highly questionable arrests. As a white American who has had some considerable associations with police, I know that police reaction can vary radically, regardless of race, and I too, often am outraged at these seemingly unjust situations and outcomes. But refusing to stand for the flag or acknowledge the national anthem is an affront to every American, regardless of race, who gave his or her life for that flag.
Yes, athletes have a Constitutional right to express their concerns. But that is why we have a press. That is why we have political action groups. That is why we have political representatives. These actions against the flag don’t reflect political positions, they refute the very people who died to protect freedom for EVERYONE, not just protesters.
Included in the “EVERYONE” are the fans in the stands who pay exorbitant prices to watch games, buy food at stadiums or pay high costs for internet and cable tv connections–and have themselves or have relatives who have served that flag, often with their lives.
Why? So that those protesting football players can make millions upon millions of dollars playing a GAME THEY LOVE, in the only country in the world that grants that kind of privilege.
Ira Hayes was a Pima Indian. As an Indian, he had been subject to many indignities. But Ira Hayes risked his life–RAISING THAT AMERICAN FLAG ON IWO JIMA FOR THE COUNTRY HE REPRESENTED.
If every time a black American shoots an innocent white cashier during a convenience store robbery and escapes, should all Americans then refuse to honor the flag?
It is that simple.