There is nothing more distasteful and un-American than kneeling or sitting during our National Anthem. The U.S. Constitution provides Americans the right to free speech and peaceful protest. However, Americans also have the right to voice objections in such repugnant actions by millionaire athletes who decide to desecrate America rather than lobby for legislation in support of reform. Athletes that don’t stand instead choose to insult America’s identity during the rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. A sacred poem that celebrated our resilience and nationalism in our flag. In fact, during the War of 1812, our flag remained flying over Fort McHenry despite the shells and bombs from British mortars. There is nothing more symbolic to our nation than our flag, our Constitution, and military. Therefore, those opposed to Capitalism, American Nationalism, sovereignty, and rule of law, opt to sit or kneel during our anthem.

Consequently, these athletes/protesters have made Colin Kaepernick their symbolic leader. Mr. Kaepernick recently disgracefully donated $25,000 to a charitable group honoring a convicted cop killer wanted by the FBI. Kaepernick has made clear his hatred for American values by wearing a pro-Communist Castro t-shirt and socks that dehumanize our brave and honorable law enforcement community. As a minority, I understand that injustice does exist in our society. However, how we protest does matter. Violence and hatred is never the solution to civil discourse. Whether violent acts come from American domestic terror groups like the KKK, or ANTIFA. Desecrating our own National Anthem is divisive and does nothing to further any cause.

In 1961, as a child my mother fled Communist Cuba. Fidel Castro had ordered the execution of his opposition in Cuba. My grandfather had been tortured, beaten and imprisoned for his speech, feared for his life after speaking out against the very man Kaepernick glorifies today. Countless sons and daughters wearing the American flag on their uniforms can no longer stand for our National Anthem. As an American, I will always with reverence and respect stand for our National Anthem.

Peter Calderon

Laramie

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