Why “The Troops” Should Sit Down During the National Anthem

The response to Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem has been especially vitriolic as many rush to support the troops who (some say) were disrespected by his protest. Growing up in a home with a father who died in his fifties due to psychological conditions acquired during his 15 years in the military, I understand the anger. Regardless of our stances on which wars are justified, we can all agree that this country has been built by the blood of countless veterans who found the call of defending our freedoms much greater than their lives.

When my father enlisted he swore an oath to his country (and us as his fellow citizens) that he would “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” No one in our military has sworn to defend a song, rather the ideals that make this song so captivating.

Today, our constitution and our society lives in dissonance. Written in our constitution is the right for all citizens to be treated fairly regardless of race, yet this is not happening.

Black people are disproportionately punished by our judicial system, are more likely to by incarcerated, and they’re more likely to receive the death penalty.

These injustice are systemic and unconstitutional. This leads me to ask; If our military has sworn to protect our constitution from domestic enemies, why did a football player have to sit during the national anthem?

Why does our military remain at attention when the very constitution that they are called to uphold is being trampled on by our civil authorities? As defenders of the constitution, our military should be the first to sit in protest as the national anthem is sung. They should be the first in line to stand against those who pervert the constitution.

Why should “the troops” remain seated during our national anthem? Because they are the standard bearers and defenders of our constitution and our constitution is being defiled.