Athletes and people at athletic events are in the news a lot lately for not standing or kneeling during the national anthem.
People have asked me what I think of this as a Marine and patriot.
Point 1: My brother's-in-arms (including the ladies I served with) and I have shed blood or died to give people the freedom to stand, kneel or whatever, during the national anthem. They should have the freedom to do as they wish as long as it doesn't affect the freedom of others to do as they wish.
Their freedom means I don't get to demand that they stand or sit or whatever.
Point 2: That said, I have the freedom to say and do as I like as well, or in response to the actions of others.
When I see them do that stuff, I am free to change the channel. I am free to stop paying attention to them and their team or buying merchandise that supports their activities.
Point 3: Just because they are a player of a team in a national level professional athletic league doesn't mean they are a patriot.
At this point though, I would like to make a topic transition: I have to remember that Firefighters don't milk cows; milking cows is the job of farmers. I don't expect law enforcement officers to give financial advice or financial planners to enforce laws.
Athletes are not paid to be examples of good morals or ethical behavior. They are paid to play a sport. If you are silly enough to put them on some pedestal on which they don't belong, then you are silly.
Watch in awe as they make some one-handed catch behind their back. You can use their sideline antics as teaching points to show your kids what not to do.
If you want to make a positive difference, set an awesome example of how you want your kids to act. Show them what reverence and respect look like. Show them patriotism and courage and discipline and joy. They will model your actions before they remember your words. Live how you want them to act.
We Americans are free to speak, think, and do as we like. We just need to be understanding when we are judged by people who are free to speak, think, and do as they like as well.
This plays into the whole Black Lives Matter movement as well. Yes I am going to go there, but just barely.
Protestors, please protest. If you have an issue, there are legal ways to protest and get your voices heard. I respect you and your point of view. BUT, don't commit a crime. Once your protests become looting or trespassing or assault or destruction of public / not-your-private property or whatever, there is an issue.
You don't have to respect my point of view; remember you are free to think as you like. I am choosing to respect your perspective regardless of whether or not I agree.