Susan Ritter’s editorial of October 26 states that if the flag is disrespected she won’t watch the football game. Apparently everyone at her home stands at attention with hand over heart while the anthem is played, no greeting friends, getting snacks, or doing laundry. And no one at the stadium grabs a hotdog or hits the restroom.
How about this? Play the anthem before every movie, play or concert, or each morning as the mall or supermarket opens. It would be about as relevant. Then everyone could pay lip service every day to the idea of freedom while totally ignoring actual constitutional freedoms such as peaceful protest. Maybe next week’s test of “real” patriotism will require you to vote a certain way or stone a mosque.
NFL players have made it abundantly clear that their protests are about racial injustice and not about disrespecting military or first responders. Willful misinterpretation of this point is ignorant and/or a cynical response to just such racism: keeping black athletes in their place. Until 2009 when the NFL signed lucrative contracts with the military for patriotic displays to enhance recruitment, players weren’t even on the field for the anthem.
My father’s war started at Pearl Harbor and ended off the coast of Normandy on D-Day. My husband is a combat veteran of Vietnam. Neither is being disrespected by the NFL protests. That’s because neither fought for phony patriotism. Wake up America. Play this game and soon your real freedoms will be gone.