Kneeling during our national anthem may be controversial, but it does not show disrespect to our country. I remember refusing to recite every verse of the Apostles creed at a Christian church. I was not being disrespectful. This was my way of expressing my beliefs within the congregation.
In the case of NFL free agent Colin Kaepernic, he knelt last season to bring attention to police violence against African Americans. Yes, he was there to play a game. But yes, millions were watching. He could have endorsed a product he was selling. Instead, he quietly knelt. I cannot imagine a more impactful way to communicate the intention of his heart.
The money he may earn or not earn is irrelevant. The bigger issue is that the president of the United States deliberately veered from the topic of his Alabama speech to not only condemn the action of kneeling, but calling for NFL owners to fire or suspend any “son of a b#%ch” who “disrespects our flag,” adding that “fans should leave the stadium!”
Although the president’s words and tone were shamefully inappropriate from the person who holds the highest title in the land, it is ironic he has seemed to strengthen the bonds of other athletes around the world, who are now kneeling together in unison. He has not quelled us by tearing us apart, but has rather brought us closer together in standing up (or kneeling down) to express a humble symbol of what is means to be human.