I will continue to watch and enjoy professional football — and I will give consideration to and will respect the players exercising their constitutional right to peacefully protest the injustices currently going on in this country.

Like you, Kenneth Johnson ("I will no longer watch football," The Daily News, Oct. 12), I am retired military, and as I stand hand over my heart with my cap off at every sporting event I attend I can give a nod toward others who rightfully choose to not do the same.

Sadly, what we have is a situation where peaceful protests are being wrongly labeled as disrespecting and dishonoring our great nation when actually allowing these protests is among the ideals this country was created on.

Keep in mind, if any research was done on the individuals choosing to protest you would probably find that the same people who protest on game day contribute charitably the rest of the week in numerous ways.

David F. Smith

League City

Locations

(70) comments

Steve Fouga

Hear, hear!

Well said, sir.

Carlos Ponce

You should continue watching NFL if that is your choice. However, protesting during the anthem has created bad feelings towards those players. And those numbers are affecting viewership, sponsorship. What you see as "protest" is pure politics. Keep politics out of the NFL.

Emile Pope

Really? I heard that MLK had bad feelings toward him because of his protests. And he wasn't protesting during the anthem. Apparently some people think that certain people don't have the right to protest because others object. Luckily their opinions don't overrule the Constitution...

Carlos Ponce

People admired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr because his protests were peaceful as opposed to what was going on in the nation. People who objected were called Democrats. And no Liberal historical revision can change that FACT. And contrary to what some believe they did not become Republicans. They patted the "colored people" on the head and told them the Democratic Party will take good care of them. No that's REAL plantation mentality. A sad part of history which continues to this day.[sad]

Emile Pope

People did not admire MLK. The population hated him, the FBI waged a campaign against him, and none of his protests were considered appropriate. A group of ministers even put a letter in the paper complaining about his protests. MOM's response because famous...

Carlos Ponce

Emile, some may have not admired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but most appreciated his efforts. Let's see. You were still in grade school when he was killed. Are you remembering actual bad feelings towards him or just repeating what you've been taught or read?

Mark Aaron

Carlos: "You should continue watching NFL if that is your choice. However, protesting during the anthem has created bad feelings towards those players."

Maybe those with bad feelings are just racists. Most people understand why the players are kneeling. If you are so concerned about a patriotic ceremony being "disrespected," then what do you have to say about this disrespect:
https://shareblue.com/trump-laughs-and-jokes-during-solemn-retreat-ceremony-honoring-flag-while-on-military-base/

Gary Scoggin

"Racists"? Really? This is a pretty cheap place to be playing the race card. Mark, you can do better than silly statements like that.

Mark Aaron

Gary: ""Racists"? Really? "

Yes, really. Some people still believe that Blacks "should know their place." Or that if they make good money they should be grateful and just shut up. They shouldn't treat America like it is "theirs" to change. If you believe that you are a racist.

Craig Lindberg

Calling people racists and playing the race are just two of Predictable Mark’s intellectually dishonest tools. Like a good little leftist, he uses them when he has no legitimate argument. I wonder if you went back through all the older comment sections if you could even find one where Mark didn’t call someone a racist? It does makes you wonder, accusing your opponent of exactly who you are is the primary leftist strategy…

Mark Aaron

Craig: [Calling people racists and playing the race are just two of Predictable Mark’s intellectually dishonest tools. Like a good little leftist, he uses them when he has no legitimate argument. I wonder if you went back through all the older comment sections if you could even find one where Mark didn’t call someone a racist? It does makes you wonder, accusing your opponent of exactly who you are is the primary leftist strategy…]

The only people I call racists are those whose posts display their racism. That it happens to you so often perhaps makes it seem more often to you.

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky posts: "The only people I call racists are those whose posts display their racism." Not my observation. You call people racists when you've lost a debate which is quite frequent.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Not my observation. You call people racists when you've lost a debate which is quite frequent.]

I don't lose debates very often because I learned long ago to simply rely on the facts. The facts and history are overwhelmingly on my side. Unlike Conservatives who must rely on jingoism and voter suppression to gain and keep power. Then there is you Carlos, who constantly posts easily refuted lies and misrepresentations, and loses every debate you get into because of it. Then you lie about that. So sad.

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky posts "I don't lose debates very often..."
Yeah, right. [rolleyes]

Craig Lindberg

Mark writes: "he only people I call racists are those whose posts display their racism."

That is just a bald faced lie Mark and you anyone who spends any time here knows it. You use the charge of racism as a blunt object to bash those with whom you disagree but can't engage in legitimate debate. When faced with fact you cannot dispute, you are a complete coward.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Little Marky posts "I don't lose debates very often..."Yeah, right. ]

Can you list some you think I lost?

Bill Cochrane

Mark - Before submitting links like this, you should check with other sites, like snopes.com. Snopes says it's mostly FALSE. If you look at the video, which shareblue did not "share", it shows the event was outdoors, and not one other person even knew what was happening. Funny - your avitar says "FACTS", and you don't even check what you claim. Too funny

Mark Aaron

Bill: "Before submitting links like this, you should check with other sites, like snopes.com. Snopes says it's mostly FALSE."

I don't check Snopes for every single post I make. Is it okay if I hold you to that standard now Bill? If you look at the bottom of the Shareblue page you will note they now indicate what the protocol is. Also note that I didn't make any claims about the link, I asked a question.

==> "If you look at the video, which shareblue did not "share", it shows the event was outdoors, and not one other person even knew what was happening."

In fact you have it backwards. The rally was held inside a hanger with the doors open. Kind of like standing under a carport. The bugle call 'retreat' is part of a solemn ceremony repeated on military installations around the world at sunset when the honor guard lowers the flag. Everyone outside stops and salutes in the direction of the flag. No sensible commander who was open to the outdoors and could clearly hear the call while addressing a crowd would ever make a joke about it for the crowd to hear during the ceremony. They would silently stand at attention until the call finished.

Now given all the stink Trump and Pence have raised about taking a knee you would expect them to be even more respectful during such a solemn ceremony. The Commander in Chief is supposed to set an example. Do you think that set an example of respect for the flag? I sure don't.

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky posts: "Maybe those with bad feelings are just racists."
There you go again, Little Marky. losing an argument then claiming racism. Typical of today's Liberal. If they were racist would they be watching a League made up of primarily African-Americans, buying merchandise, wearing their uniforms, etc. Think, Little Marky, THINK!
If they did away with the "protests" the fans would return.

Jim Forsythe

Nate Boyer, a former Army Green Beret and Seattle Seahawks long snapper.
He discussed how he recently sat down with a group of special operations veterans where they discussed their feelings on the national anthem protests.
"We all had very different takes, but what surprised me most at the end of the discussion was that we all agreed on one thing," he wrote. "Colin Kaepernick and President Trump should be the ones uniting our country together. Wait...what? I know it sounds crazy, but maybe that's exactly what we need to see. Maybe that's how we start to heal. Two men sit in a room and talk, simple as that."
"I believe that progress and real change happens in this world when you reach across the divide, you build a bridge, you swallow your pride, you open your mind, you embrace what you don't understand, and ultimately you surrender."
Several other NFL players, as well as numerous other athletes across America, ultimately joined Kaepernick .The protests grew this season after Trump criticized NFL players who chose to follow suit. Trump said owners should "fire" NFL players who protest the anthem and referred to them as "son[s] of b------". Players responded by protesting en masse.
He ended his letter by calling for unity, telling people not to pick sides.
Simply put, it seems like we just hate each other; and that is far more painful to me than any protest, or demonstration, or rally, or tweet. We're told to pick a side, there's a line drawn in the sand "are you with us or against us?" It's just not who we are, or at least who we're supposed to be; we're supposed to be better than that, we're Americans. This doesn't even seem to be about right or wrong, but more about right or left.
Today it feels like this national divide isn't even really about the anthem, or the flag, or kneeling, or sitting, or fists in the air. It's not about President Donald Trump, it's not about Colin Kaepernick, it's not about the military, or even police brutality. It feels like it's about winning. That's what makes America so great, our sheer competitiveness. We're winners, and we won't quit until victory is ours.
So please, no more lines in the sand, not at home, not among our people. No more choosing sides, no more "for or against." I believe our Veterans will be called upon to lead the way in healing the world and solving its problems; right now our country needs that more than I can remember. So I'll be here, standing in the radical middle, doing what I can to continue fighting for those that can't fight for themselves. Let's get this thing fixed together, you and me. I love you all with all my heart.
De Oppresso Liber
-- Nate Boyer


Bill Cochrane

Kaepernick chose the time the Anthem was played to "get attention". And it worked. But as many have said, that was not the right way to get attention. If NFL players really want to bring attention the their cause, here's a suggestion.
Kaepernick is quarterback in the Super Bowl. Score is 14 - 14. Only 30 seconds to play. The ball is on the 1 yard line. The ball is snapped. Kaepernick prepares to throw a pass to win the Super Bowl. No receiver is open. But wait! Not one player around Kaepernick? It's an easy walk to a touchdown by Kaepernick. TAKE A KNEE!

Mark Aaron

Bill: "TAKE A KNEE! "

That joke was lame the first time I heard it, and before you messed it up Bill. Before "TAKE A KNEE! " you are supposed to cue the national anthem. Otherwise the "joke" doesn't make much sense.

Bill Cochrane

Mark - Not a "joke". You missed the whole "point". Listen close. No one is saying peaceful protests are wrong. The point is that doing it during the Anthem is wrong.
Geez, ya just can't fix stupid?

Mark Aaron

Bill: "Not a "joke""

Your telling me. It was even less funny with the explanation.

Mark Aaron

*You're

Doyle Beard

doesn'make much sense to you, why am I not surprised.

Doyle Beard

The NFL is a leech on the taxpayers. About 70% of the upkeep and operating expenses of stadiums are paid for by the taxpayer. Then tthe public pays an enormous price for the T V time. Man are so gulliable they dont know it.

Mark Aaron

This veteran will also continue to watch and enjoy the NFL and I will continue to support those players who take a knee for what I consider a just and important cause. This is the kind of right I believed I was fighting for when I went to war.

Doyle Beard

ok so you fought for it would it not be nice for a dab of respect for all themen and women who fought for this and many made the ultimate sacrifice. what the hell is wrong for a little respect? I say protest all the heck you want to but give a little respcect for the ones who made this possible but of course today common sense does not prevail along with respect. Just get on the road and the you see there is little respect.

Emile Pope

People falsely made the protest about the servicemen because they wanted to discredit the reason they were protesting. I'm sure that the people who fought for this country would be more concerned about American citizens being murdered in the streets (which is what the protest is about) than a private citizen not standing up for a song...

Carlos Ponce

Emile posts: "People falsely made the protest about the servicemen..."
Every time the anthem is played and the banner saluted people think of Iwo Jima, the flag draped coffins covering those killed in action and US veterans who returned from the wars. The anthem refers to a time when the nation's future was in doubt but Key saw " that our flag was still there" and had survived another assault on this nation. They think about the attack on 911 when first responders hung an American flag on the rubble.
Are Americans concerned with "citizens being murdered in the streets"? Of course they are. Protesting during the anthem does NOTHING to solve the problem. If you are posting about police actions you will find most were justified under the circumstances. Most of the accused police (which include Black officers) were either no-billed by a Grand Jury or acquitted in a Court of Law. The very few that weren't justified sit in jail.

Doyle Beard

Whether you can understand it or not it all goes together in one word. RESPECT

Emile Pope

To take the position that an injustice cannot be protested cannot be protested if the government says that it is legal is pretty much the definition of being Un-American. It's called the 1st Amendment for a reason. And the right to protest cannot be decided by people's opinion as to whether the grievance is valid.

Carlos Ponce

There is injustice. And then there is perceived injustice without any basis. When protestors toss in the likes of Michael Brown into the mix, most will turn a deaf ear. "Hands up, don't shoot" was a LIE. That is the testimony of African-Africans who witnessed him trying to take away a police officer's gun and getting killed in the process.
Every time an officer shoots someone in the line of duty why do you assume that it is "injustice". Let the wheels of justice turn. If there was wrongdoing the Grand Jury will indict and a jury of peers or a judge will weigh the evidence. That occurrence is rare.

Emile Pope

"And the right to protest cannot be decided by people's opinion as to whether the grievance is valid."
"And the right to protest cannot be decided by people's opinion as to whether the grievance is valid."

Apparently for some, reading is not fundamental...

Carlos Ponce

Emile, when you base your protests on Liberal group think and not facts your argument is seriously lacking.

Emile Pope

A person who holds the ridiculous position that an act is justified simply because the person who committed it is not prosecuted should perhaps crack open a history book and start at page one...

Carlos Ponce

"ridiculous position"??? I see. You may defend the "victims" and persecute in your mind the police who acted properly all you want but we have a system of justice in this country, a system of laws. Otherwise we'd have anarchy. The protestors are defending some "not so nice people" who through their own actions contributed to their fate. Even the young lad who refused to drop the toy gun. Sad that he died. But if he had simply obeyed a police officer's directives, he'd still be alive. If only he had been taught that the police represent authority and one should obey.
Emile, when you see a police officer do you see and respond to his authority? Or do you have an attitude of defiance? So sad if you have the latter attitude considering your heritage.

Emile Pope

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity”
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people”
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it”
“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress”

Martin Luther King

Doyle Beard

Emile since you don't get it ,its not just the not standing but the disrespect shown.

Emile Pope

The only people whose consider it disrespectful are the ones who disagree with any protest they have to see...

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [ Protesting during the anthem does NOTHING to solve the problem.]

That is simply wrong, not to mention dishonest. Hundreds of players are now following Kaepernick's lead. Most Americans now know about his protest and what he is protesting. The one poll I have seen on the question said most Americans approve of his protest.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/02/usa-today-poll-americans-say-trump-wrong-nfl-protests/721809001/

Carlos Ponce

Just obey the law, follow the police officer's directive. Each is there to "protect and serve".

Mark Aaron

Doyle: "ok so you fought for it would it not be nice for a dab of respect for all themen and women who fought for this and many made the ultimate sacrifice."

The best way I know to honor vets is to honor the right to speak out when our country is going down the wrong track. I know protesters saved lives in Vietnam, both American and Vietnamese. They weren't very popular with Conservatives at the time, but they were right. Just like MLK. Just like Kaepernick today.

Bill Cochrane

You missed the whole "point". Listen close. No one is saying peaceful protests are wrong. The point is that doing it during the Anthem is wrong.

Mark Aaron

Bill: [You missed the whole "point". Listen close. No one is saying peaceful protests are wrong. The point is that doing it during the Anthem is wrong.]

Kaepernick isn't trying to punish his team, his fans, or lose a game. No one loses anything by him taking a knee during a nationalist ceremony. It seems an appropriate place and time to highlight a national problem.

I get your point, but I think it is just too far fetched to be feasible or sensible. I thought you must be riffing on Carlos' lame joke. My mistake, but yours too.

Doyle Beard

insult to MLK to compare his to this jerk.

Mark Aaron

Doyle: [insult to MLK to compare his to this jerk.]

MLK would beam with pride to see how much Mr. Kaepernick has learned from him.

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky channels MLK, Hillary spoke with Eleanor Roosevelt. Interesting that you can convey what the dead are thinking. You don't look lie a medium, more of an Extra-large.[whistling]

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Little Marky channels MLK, Hillary spoke with Eleanor Roosevelt. Interesting that you can convey what the dead are thinking. You don't look lie a medium, more of an Extra-large.]

Having a few drinks today Carlos?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, I rarely drink. I've never had a beer, enjoy an occasional wine, used to drink ONE frozen margarita a year made by my uncle Alec Mendez but he has passed away. But if you enjoy drinking be my guest. Careful that they do not interfere with your meds.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Little Marky, I rarely drink. ]

Okay then. I was just giving your boorish behavior the benefit of the doubt.

Doyle Beard

Smith watch your football game and your heroes and I will continue to respect my heroes who the people who made this country so great. The people who fought for this country are the real heroes un case you are not aware or maybe don't care.

Mark Aaron

Doyle: [ The people who fought for this country are the real heroes un case you are not aware or maybe don't care.]

They are some of the heroes, but not all. First responders and teachers can be in that group. Social workers, healthcare workers, and scientists too. Maybe even a politician.

Doyle Beard

I would never downplay those people but one thing you can take to the bank with out the real heroes that gave us freedom where would we all be including the cast you spoke of .I will continue to believe they are the real heroes to all of us although many disrespect them. Seems like you kinda fit in that category of disrespect.

Mark Aaron

Doyle: [I will continue to believe they are the real heroes to all of us although many disrespect them. Seems like you kinda fit in that category of disrespect. ]

Well according to your accounting I am one of the heroes since I am a disabled Vietnam veteran. But like nurses and firefighters and police I would never make that claim. The "hero" designation not ought be a political cudgel.

Paula Flinn

Nearly fell out of the chair when I saw Jerry Jones and what looked like the whole Dallas Cowboy team lock arms and take a knee during the anthem for solidarity in protesting the injustice of racism. I believe in the First Amendment right to protest during the anthem. They did not turn their backs on the flag. They did not burn the flag or drag it through the streets. It is their right to protest, and it does not offend me.

BTW, I always stand and put my right hand over my heart during the National Anthem and/or Pledge of Allegiance at work and in a public place. I stop walking if I am in the hall and hear either one coming from a classroom. I was taught respect for my country, and I have a duty to be a role model for the students at school. I am of that generation that parents and teachers taught us the pledge and the National Anthem to make us good citizens. But I do not do it at home whenI hear it on the TV. Do you?

Carlos Ponce

Paula posts:" I believe in the First Amendment right to protest during the anthem." The first amendment does not apply since its on the workplace. Next time you're in the classroom try expressing your political views. See how far you get when the administration discovers.

Carlos Ponce

Paula, assignment today for you. Find out how many Dallas Cowboys took a knee at today's game.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: -"Next time you're in the classroom try expressing your political views. See how far you get when the administration discovers."-

Schools are part of the government. It is why students can't be forced to stand or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, most company's policy says keep politics out of the work place.

Mark Aaron

Carlos; [Little Marky, most company's policy says keep politics out of the work place. ]

Schools are part of the government, that means special limitations apply.

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, tell that to the college professors who don't teach government or history.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Little Marky, tell that to the college professors who don't teach government or history.]

They know. It was you who seemed to have trouble understanding.

Carlos Ponce

Wrong, Little Marky. If a government or history prof brings up politics as part of the lesson he or she should do so without taking sides. Some like the COM Marxist couldn't take a neutral side. But when an English prof gives a writing assignment to discredit the Trump administration without the opportunity to write a paper crediting the accomplishments of that administration - that's going too far.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Wrong, Little Marky. If a government or history prof brings up politics as part of the lesson he or she should do so without taking sides.]

So you are against free speech in colleges and universities now too Carlos?

It's a good thing to limit school age children to objective politics in their formative years. When they get to college they need far more nuance and exposure to differing viewpoints. Sometimes there is a price to pay for that. So pay it and move on.

==> [But when an English prof gives a writing assignment to discredit the Trump administration without the opportunity to write a paper crediting the accomplishments of that administration - that's going too far.]

So you would demand that colleges and universities adhere to a fairness doctrine of sorts? So what happens if the subject is bestiality or communism?

Carlos Ponce

Little Marky, I'm opposed to profs who LIE, LIE, LIE to indoctrinate students into Liberal ideology. College should be open to both sides of a debate. Profs will take it out on those who disagree with their Liberal thinking with poor grades. Now that's just WRONG!

Mark Aaron

Carlos: [Little Marky, I'm opposed to profs who LIE, LIE, LIE to indoctrinate students into Liberal ideology. ]

Can you cite some examples of what you mean?

==> [College should be open to both sides of a debate.]

Would you assert that astrology and astronomy should be equivalent in academia?

Jim Forsythe

Sunday, in the Cowboys' first game since owner Jerry Jones took a firm stance against national anthem protests, defensive lineman David Irving was seen briefly raising a fist at the songs' conclusion. 
Earlier in the week, Irving hinted that he would do something during the national anthem but maintained he would not "disrespect the flag."
After the Cowboys' loss to Green Bay two weeks ago, Jones said that anyone who disrespects the flag would not be allowed to play. 
David Irving started today for the Cowboys.

Carlos Ponce

Any Dallas player kneel during the anthem?

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