The backlash against the NFL protests is one of those areas where two groups of people simply can look at the same situation and see two very different things. Foes see this as disrespecting the flag and the country and the people who fought to protect it. I see it honoring the flag and the country and the people who fought to protect it, because the lawful ability to remonstrate against the government is one of the very things that makes the U.S. what it is.
And I’ve always respected individuals who will stand up for something they believe, particularly if they put themselves at risk. And even more so if the risk they’re taking is largely for someone else’s benefit.
Colin Kaepernick, for starters, wasn’t protesting to enrich himself, but primarily to improve the life’s of others. He did so at risk to his career and his reputation. I respect that, just as I respect Tim Tebow kneeling during games to show his faith. And both of them suffered, in different ways, from that willingness to put their convictions ahead of their careers.
To others, Kaepernick’s act is beyond the pale, and he needs to find a more fitting place to protest. But protest is not supposed to be comfortable, and can’t be to work. It has to shake us up.