Letter: Understand why NFL players are kneeling

As someone who has served our country as both a Marine and a prosecutor, I stand for the flag and the national anthem. I care about the flag and what it means, as well as the warriors who have fought for our country. I even have the flag tattooed on my back, in a rendition of the Iwo Jima Memorial.

But, like many other veterans, I fully support these players’ right to silently and peacefully protest racial inequities in our country. These football players are not protesting the flag, the national anthem, or military troops. In fact, many are huge supporters of our country and our warriors. Many, like Colin Kaepernick, are even deeply religious.

So what gives me, a white male, the right to judge these players? Most of us will never understand what is like to be an African-American in America. It amazes me that the people who are most judgmental about NFL players taking a knee are those who are Caucasian, as well as those who have never served their country or community.

So, if you are still making a stink about this issue, read the First Amendment of the Constitution to learn about our freedoms, read the Bible about not judging others, talk to some veterans about what their service has meant to them, or have a conversation with an African-American about growing-up in a white America. Fully understand why these players are peacefully protesting, before claiming that they are dishonorable.

Kelly Steele

Cedar Rapids

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