First, I will say I fly the Flag of the United States at my home. Personally, I would always stand for the National Anthem. It’s not because I’m being forced to, it’s because I believe the Flag still stands for Freedom. To me, the Flag stands for the ideals of the United States and the rights which we supposedly to have. The Flag is a symbol of the people who fought for me to have those rights.
My beliefs are not everyone else’s, and I get that. There are lots of people who have had different experiences than I have. To them, the Flag of the United States could mean something else entirely.
When I see NFLers kneel for the presentation of the Flag and playing of the National Anthem, I’m ok with it. Why? Because it’s for something, a cause which they believe in.
I will tell you this: my great grandfather fought for this country in World War I. When he returned, he couldn’t vote in his state. For him, the Flag did not represent bitterness. It represented where we SHOULD be as a nation.
Forcing players to stand for the Anthem and the Colors is to me, counterproductive. It’s making someone pay respect to something they don’t really believe in. It’s fraudulent. When I say the Flag stands for our rights, forcing someone to pay it respect infringes upon those very same rights it stands for.
What next, team owners make players pray to their God(s) before games because it’s popular with fans? How about standing for the Confederate flag or a statue of Bob Lee? It’s not a huge stretch.
Roger Goodell, team owners or even the president cannot extinguish what someone believes in by forcing them into standing for the Colors, and the National Anthem. For me, I will always stand for the Flag, because it stands for exactly what those people are trying to impose: faux patriotism.