Defining Respect

There is a lot of discussion going around about football players kneeling during the National Anthem and how some folks see it as unpatriotic and disrespectful. I disagree.

If the players were turning their backs on the flag, or making rude gestures at it, that would be disrespectful. Instead, they are kneeling, or linking arms. This to me is a sign of grief and sorrow, not disrespect.

These players love this country, and so are grieved to know there is still so much hatred and racism. For those of color, they worry for their children, their friends, their fans, many of whom are daily subjected to mistreatment for the color of their skin.

If I scold my young son for hitting another child or calling them names, no one accuses me of not loving him. Quite the opposite, I am applauded for teaching him to treat others as he would like to be treated. These players are attempting to teach the country they love to look at how people of color are being treated, and apply the same lesson I teach my son – treat everyone regardless of differences, the way you wish to be treated.

That is not being disrespectful. Rather, it is the ultimate show of true respect for the principles that piece of cloth with its stars and stripes stands for – liberty and justice FOR ALL.

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