Last week, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a controversy when he decided to take a unique opportunity to help the country understand the nature of police violence, by sitting in silent protest during the national anthem before recent preseason games.
The 49ers quarterback said he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Conservatives immediately cried foul, calling the athlete’s protest a “slap in the face” to the military. But many U.S. soldiers do not see it that way.
Business Insider asked veterans for their thoughts on Kaepernick, and many were happy to share their views, pro or con, and one thing became very clear: The opinions of veterans greatly differ from that of the conservative pundits.
“He is exercising his constitutional right, and I’m glad that he’s doing it,” Benjamin Starks, a veteran of both the US Navy and the US Army Reserve, said.
I admire Colin Kaepernick. I admire him for raising awareness about police brutality. I admire his courage in doing what he thinks is right even though it could cost him money and perhaps his job. You don’t see that from public figures very often.
I also admire the veterans who have defended him by arguing, correctly, that they are defending his right to sit or stand when the national anthem plays. That’s what living in a free country means.
H/T: Business Insider.