Find another way to protest inequities

DEAR EDITOR:

The NFL has stepped over a very huge line. Kneeling during the national anthem on American soil to protest perceived inequities is one thing, but to kneel in a foreign country and to then stand for that country’s anthem is quite another.

The only thing we may have to unite us is our oneness as American citizens. The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens have said very clearly they choose to denounce their American citizenship.

I spent 30 years in the U. S. Navy “to protect and defend the Constitution of The United States of America, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I have represented the U.S. in 32 countries on five continents. There is truly no nation on this planet that is better than ours. I consider any U.S. citizen who willingly shows such complete and total disrespect for the United States, as those athletes did in England, to be a domestic enemy conspiring to do harm to the United States.

People will argue the athletes are only exercising their freedom of speech rights, guaranteed in the Constitution. If you truly believe that freedom of speech should extend to everyone in every circumstance, you are a fool. Think of the chaos if anyone could speak or act as they please anywhere at anytime.

Those athletes are blessed to be able to play a game for a living. They don’t have to work in a factory, in a field or in a retail store for minimum wage. Almost none of them have ever served the United States. The vast majority have had their education paid for by other Americans and are not saddled with huge student loan debt. They are idolized and draw huge salaries. They live a pampered and exclusive life. And they bite the hand that feeds them. The team owners must fix this and they will respond only to reduced income. No tickets, TV off and no sponsored products. My protest.

I will fight to my dying day for the individual rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

I have demonstrated my commitment to the United States. I will not tolerate public disrespect directed toward my country on the global stage by pampered whiners who contribute nothing to her greatness. Professional athletes, find another way to protest!

MICHAEL POPADAK

Cortland

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