Colin Kaepernick and his decision to protest the flag by sitting down during the National Anthem in a pre-season game last week has been all over the news lately. Many of his athletic peers have spoken out against him, including accused rapist, Ben Roethlisberger. In a recent interview with ESPN radio hosts Mike & Mike, he made his stance clear.
“When it comes to the National Anthem and the flag, I think it stands for something different. You know, like you said, family, brothers, my grandfather served in the Navy—people that have served this country—men and women who’ve lost their lives…to me that’s the National Anthem we stand and support because they give us the freedom to play this game. We are so, so lucky to play a game that we love…and that’s because we have the freedom that soldiers have given us.”
Roethlisberger isn’t the first to oppose Kaepernick’s protest, but thanks to Twitter, the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick was born. The hashtag stands in support of Kaepernick’s right as an American citizen to sit during the National Anthem and comes from the very men and women who others have said Kaepernick disrespected by sitting down.
— Mr. It Is Our Duty (@Mr_ItIsOurDuty) August 30, 2016
— Immortal Ali (@Morris_Mann) August 31, 2016
— Miss B. (@brittneeraebaby) August 31, 2016
— Dave Bledsoe (@TheHell_Podcast) August 31, 2016
Don't use my service–or that of any veteran–to justify the silencing of black Americans. Not on my watch. #VeteransForKaepernick
— Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) August 31, 2016
Whether or not one agrees with his decision, one thing not up for debate is that he has the right to do so and that is what our brave service members have fought for—not a song or piece of cloth.