My dear Nate….
I have a list of thank yous for your reading pleasure. As a US navy vet, married to one, the daughter of one, with two brothers, one Army, one Navy, I thank you first and foremost for your service, clear eyed and proud, to our great country.
As a rabid Seahawks fan, even thought at heart you were a 49er, you still wore our uniform and carried our flag onto the playing field, so thank you for that gesture of pride and respect.
My biggest thank you is for not going where I thought you might be going with this. I’ll be honest and say that that whole thing caught up to me weeks after it happened, and because I was hearing it from some folks who were far, far FAR less thoughtful than you, what I heard was awful stuff.
We veterans, and especially you, fought for Colin’s right to speak his mind by planting his butt. I do not get why that is so very hard to understand for people who profess to love our country, and the freedoms inherent in our Constitution. It really is that simple. He saw a cause he was passionate about but others weren’t, he chose a very public and perfectly acceptable way to protest. It is our right as Americans to do this.
I was pretty neutral about the whole thing. My husband, bless his ever lovin’, ultra conservative, right wing heart, was livid. Same as you, he was angry and offended at first. I pulled up my copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and started reading. Out loud. After a few minutes, he said we were good, that if a football player wanted to show his opinion to the world, so be it. He didn’t have to like it, but he did have to acknowledge it. Reluctantly.
Thank you for a thoughtful, well written, and insightful article. I hope it gets around to the right folks.