The ever-widening display of disrespect to the United States by NFL players, owners, coaches and staff this past weekend is to me personally, and to millions of Americans, an abominable misunderstanding of what our national anthem and enduring flag stand for.
The flag stands for our republic, our nation which not only gave you the privilege to be on that football field, but bless you with the high salaries you each receive for that privilege.
As a retired lieutenant colonel nearing age 70, you sickened me with your gestures on and off the field on Sunday. Most of you make more money per game than me and my military compatriots, law enforcement officers, fire fighters and first responders make in a year. And, you make more in a year than most of we who risk our lives for you will make in a lifetime.
In my opinion, President Trump was absolutely correct- your open, public disrespect to our republic should have resulted in your discharge from your chosen profession. In the military, public disrespect for the flag and America would immediately get you relieved of duty.
The initiator of your movement said he did it to highlight police brutality of black Americans. Other black players have said that this disrespect of our country had to do with general oppression of black Americans and the rampant existence of white privilege.
I hope that your coaches who stood arm in arm with you, or kneeled with you in disrespect to our country, or instructed you to cowardly wait out the national anthem in the locker room, learn that you too are privileged: that most of you play in tax-subsidized billion dollar-plus stadiums that provide your plush locker rooms, practice facilities and perfect environments to play your sport. Your salaries are paid by those who watch you play your sport, in person and on television.
I pray that the vast majority of Americans now abandon you as you have abandoned your country.
John Bredfelt, Lt. Col., USAF, retired