James Millar: Where is this ‘social injustice’ supposedly behind the NFL national anthem protests? | VailDaily.com

James Millar: Where is this ‘social injustice’ supposedly behind the NFL national anthem protests?

James Millar
Valley Voices
In this Sept. 10, 2017, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) kneels in front of teammates during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

In regards to "Why does it matter that a player stand or kneel?" (Wednesday, Oct. 11) I just read Chris Freud's article on this matter before work, and I felt inclined to reply as to why myself, and patriotic Americans, share a much different opinion on this matter. I have to be at work, and I am not a full-time journalist, but I would like to briefly share my thoughts before I must leave my computer for the day.

Freud mentions "establishing justice" and "a more perfect union" but never elaborates on what social injustice the NFL players have been served. Instead, I think they have been afforded the opposite, an opportunity through capitalism, in this prosperous country, to get rich doing something they love. Where is the "social injustice"? What am I missing?

Protesting "social injustice" on behalf of other members in society would only be credible if the people they were protesting for were actually law-abiding citizens. Protesting on behalf of criminal thugs who point knives at cops or resist arrest and then get shot is not a credible argument. In fact, many of the players taking a knee have a rather substantial criminal record. We have laws in this country, and they need to be enforced for a reason, without our law enforcement being threatened for doing their job.

When I was a kid, my parents schooled me to treat police with respect, to greet police using terms such as "sir" and "mam" and to keep my hands on the steering wheel during a traffic stop, so the office can see that I am not a threat. I legally carry a loaded revolver in my truck at all times, and if I need to reach in my bag for my license or documents, I always inform the officer I have a firearm first.

I have never had an encounter with police escalate into violence. My point being that much of the "social injustice" reported is misleading. Communication, or that lack of, between perpetrator and the officer, or parents and their children, is the real issue they should be protesting.

As Sarah Huckabee insinuated in a recent press conference, if they are protesting the police, then why not protest the officers in the field who are there to protect them?

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During the Las Vegas shooting I did not see any NFL players running into the line of fire to save people; that was instead the police. Not to mention, you usually have to be doing something illegal to attract attention from the cops. It is not a credible argument to take the side of the criminal who breaks the law.

In regards to Freud's statement about a "more perfect union," what is more unifying than Americans standing up and singing together about the one common thing we share in this country, freedom? Disrespecting the national anthem is instead, in my opinion, more divisive than unifying. Likewise, so is labeling our vice president's actions as a political stunt, when in fact I believe he feels personally offended and disrespected, as do many other Americans, in particular veterans, which brings me to my next and final point.

Freud states that veterans feeling offended about the anthem protest "is just a bunch of hooey." Such a statement in itself is derogatory to our soldiers and vets. Freud, have you actually asked any veterans about their opinion, or did you first just tout a bunch of irrelevant text from the Enlistment Oath? In fact, all of my veteran and enlisted soldier friends and colleagues are deeply offended by the actions of these NFL players. This is because they have put their lives on the line, not to mention those who have sacrificed their lives or lost their children in war, in order to protect and preserve every such thing our flag and anthem stand for.

I think Freud needs to be reminded that our flag is used to cover the coffins of our dead soldiers who fought to preserve our freedom and way of life that makes America the best and most prosperous country in the world, and our anthem is a tribute to this flag and our soldiers' duty.

James Millar is a Vail resident.