Dear Anti-NFL Kneelers, Stop Telling Us How To Feel. Sincerely, Veterans

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Ever since Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee back in 2016 during the national anthem prior to NFL games, a LOT of so-called “patriots” showed outrage, believing…nay…demanding that he stood as it was played.

Kaepernick began taking a knee to protest racial injustices against black Americans. Not long after that, other athletes did the same.

At one point, Donald Trump called NFL the players who would kneel “sons of bitches” and practically demanded that they be fired. This year, he even added that these athletes should “leave the country” if they don’t want to stand for the anthem.

Yes, the President of the United States said that. Not some backwoods, moonshine-drinking, white trash, two-front-toothed, racist hillbilly. No…our country’s president. But I digress. Let’s move on.

For those of you who still support the president (after all, he did say that he could “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose voters” and well…he’s done just about everything short of that), like Trump, many of you have said and are continuing to say that the kneeling players are disrespecting the country, the anthem, the flag, and us as veterans.

Wait…so you’re speaking for us now? You’re telling us what’s disrespectful?

What’s especially funny about this is that I remember when this all began and a lot of you were quick to say this. Not long afterward, quite a few veterans (to include me) came out to say, to the effect, “WE JOINED TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION” or “WE DEFEND THE PLAYERS’ FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH/PROTEST.” Obviously more or less may have been said with that, but that was the main point.

Even more laughable to me is that LONG after veterans have said some form of these expressions, many of you CONTINUE to say how much the kneeling is “disrespectful to veterans” as though we are not talking at all.

…speaking of “disrespectful to veterans.”

Let’s make something clear. No one is asking here whether or not you’re okay with athletes protesting racial injustices against blacks. That isn’t even the point of this, so before you type that long comment to address that, don’t.

This is about how WE AS VETERANS FEEL.

Which you likely have no idea about, because you haven’t asked. At least not until recently. Surely all those in the beginning while saying it hadn’t asked. I’ve caught MANY people in the lie as they told that one. Now of course, the lie continues in that folks are saying, “EVERY VETERAN I’VE TALKED TO SAYS IT’S DISRESPECTFUL.”

Bullshit.

Yes, I can say that, because that is WAY to convenient that “every” veteran you’ve spoken to has said that. Not to mention, a lot of you aren’t even directly affiliated with the military in any way, or you have a friend here or family member there who served, or is serving, yet YOU managed to find that many veterans and THEY ALL said it was disrespectful?

Every last one of them?

Even if you are a veteran, don’t try and use that “every veteran” nonsense. Because I’m telling you straight-up that it isn’t true. I can post a ton of evidence to prove this. But again…how big of a coincidence is it that you just so happen to find the ONLY the veterans who agree with your stance? And keep in mind that even I’m not saying that “every veteran” agrees with me. I’m comfortable enough that I don’t need to make that up.

What this is about, is the fact that MOST veterans aren’t even addressing whether they agree with the NFL players kneeling. We are addressing OUR OATH OF ENLISTMENT:

“I, _____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Again, this is NOT about whether or not we agree with the players kneeling. Read that first sentence. It is about SUPPORTING AND DEFENDING the players’ rights to do so, as it is NOT against the First Amendment (part of the Constitution) for them to do so.

I don’t care how much you want them fired. I don’t care how many times you need to repeat that you will “boycott the NFL” *snickers* I don’t care how drunk and high you get to feel that you have a say in them “leaving the country.” And I don’t care about whatever else you want to bring into the mix.

What I DO care about, as many veterans do, is when you continue to hide behind us, claiming the kneeling is disrespectful, as MOST OF US say that it isn’t, mainly because we are about the OATH, which again, doesn’t address us agreeing or disagreeing with what the players are doing.

Is that too hard to follow?

Now if I said, “Y’ALL NEED TO SHUT UP, BECAUSE EVERY VETERAN AGREES WITH THE KNEELING!” then you could tell me that I was wrong. But EVERY SINGLE VETERAN has to say the Oath of Enlistment before joining. Every one. We raise our right hands and we say it.

ALL. OF. US.

If you are a veteran and you feel that the oath somehow doesn’t apply to you, you are wrong. End of discussion.

As for everyone else…do whatever it is you need to do in order to demonstrate how much of a “patriot” you are. Buy your little flags and hang them on your trucks. Raise hell about athletes kneeling during the national anthem as you continue to shop at the concession stands or remain sitting on your couches at home. Do whatever else the president has encouraged you to do in ALL his maturity.

But stop speaking for us. We don’t need your help. If you respect us as much as you claim, then do us a favor. SHUT UP and let us tell you what WE feel. If you don’t have the decency to at least talk to us about it, don’t run around claiming you know how we feel. You don’t.

Better yet…if you “love” the military and veterans so much and if you are such a “patriot,” SIGN UP.

Yeah…

That’s what I thought.

 

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6 Responses to Dear Anti-NFL Kneelers, Stop Telling Us How To Feel. Sincerely, Veterans

  1. Turtles Run says:

    Thank you. As another veteran I fully support the right of those that choose to kneel during the national anthem. Force patriotism is not patriotism at all. To claim that a song or a piece of cloth is the item to be celebrated instead of the ideals for which they represent is slap in the face to all those that took they turn defending those very ideals.

    I will repeat your comments……do not try to speak for me when voicing your objections to the kneeling players.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oruacat2 says:

    Speak it, brother. I’ve had this debate with some of my veteran friends, and their arguments come to a screeching halt when I ask them “in your Oath of Enlistment, did you swear to defend a song, a flag, our symbols, our pride, or our hurt feelings? Or did you swear to defend the Constitution?”

    Like

  3. Jeff Herman says:

    Well said. Personally I agree with the kneeling, not that it’s the form of expression I would choose myself but I don’t have the same platform NFL players do. The idea of protest is to draw attention to some issue and they certainly have drawn a lot of attention. At the very least it seems to have exposed a major problem with our country in that a not necessarily large but definitely vocal portion of our population believes that the United States is just naturally great by nature. That the people need only to pay lip services to its greatness in order to keep it that way.

    As a veteran myself I personally find the forced performance patriotism to be much more disrespectful. Of course if you want to hang a flag from your truck or stand every time you hear the national anthem that’s fine. You’re free to do that. But don’t hold that action up as proof of your love for your country. It’s just symbolic. If you love your country express it through service to your community. Do actual things to make America better and safer. Don’t just wave a flag and expect equal credit.

    Like

  4. Andrew Karalis says:

    Well brother, this retired and disabled veteran disagrees with you, on a couple of points. First, as to asking every veteran (some people have have close tight-knit circles of friends, who may in fact share the same political ideology), we may just happen to reside in different echo chambers. You may hang out with Never-Trumpers who believe this or that, or some liberal progressive vets that did 10 years in the Air Force and went to work at IBM. The point being, we may not all agree on politics – that’s just a fact of life.

    Secondly, you’re framing this protest as a first amendment exercise, whereas if you look at it as a free enterprise problem, veiled by a disrespect of the U.S. Flag Code and a violation of public decorum in behavior in showing due and proper respect to the flag and the anthem. How many workers at McDonald’s or Walmart can protest while on the clock at work? How long will they remain employed? What about military? Do you think it is within their rights to protest in a such a manner to disrespect the flag and the anthem? I dare say they will be taken to task and either learn quickly to correct their aberrant behavior or seek to find employment in the civilian sector quickly because they won’t be in uniform much longer.

    You want to protest? Do it on your own time! Not on company time & certainly not in uniform to show disrespect to their employer and the customers.

    Like

    • pplscrt79 says:

      You are wrong to assume who I hang with or that I’m in some tight-knit circle that ONLY includes everyone against Trump. That alone tells me where you stand on the issue.

      You addressed quite a bit of what I already spoke of in the blog post, so I’m not sure as to why you skimmed over it.

      Soldiers support and defend the Constitution. Period. It’s not up to us as to who fires who. This absolutely IS a First Amendment issue. Just because free enterprise is involved doesn’t change Freedom of Speech. It just means that employers have a say in what they do. That does NOT change our oath, which is to support and defend the Constitution. As I stated in the blog post, I don’t care whether you agree with them kneeling or not. There’s a reason no one asked for your permission. You don’t have a say in when they do it. I’m not sure what’s so difficult to understand about that.

      Like

  5. Marilyn Kahlo-Burton says:

    RIGHT ON!

    Like

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