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Thoughts on NFL player’s protest

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Recent discussions by those supporting the NFL players protesting during the playing of the national anthem have centered their support on the player’s right to freedom of speech.

In this, there is no disagreement. Every American has that right, a right protected and guaranteed. It cannot and should not be abridged because the method of expression is unacceptable.

Why do so many Americans show such strong disapproval of NFL players protesting during the playing of the national anthem? Because the anthem reflects our heritage.

Embedded in history and tradition, it is emblematic of everything Americans hold to be true, reminding us we are a nation of ethnic diversity living free because of the brave soldiers, black and white, who fought and died to ensure that freedom.

It reflects those moments of past national anxiety Americans felt during the war for independence, the Civil War and WWII.

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It is a reflection of the Constitution that implants in law, our rights as a free people, allowing every American the opportunity to reach above their station in life and strive for something greater.

It is us as a nation willing to help others, respected for our generosity, and envied by every other country in the world.

It is every American’s spirit and feeling of pride and respect in our national identity, and of the promise that unity and freedom that is our great nation, will endure.

There is prejudice in the world, as there is in America. Since man first stepped foot upon this earth, bigotry has reared its ugly head. There are always those who will discriminate against others. But the vast majority of Americans are not prejudiced. The greatest number of fans who watch, attend, and hold NFL players in high regard, almost to a point of hero worship are white. The money flowing into the NFL is predominantly from whites. Is this prejudice? Yet, by NFL players refusing to stand for our national anthem, they dishonor our Anthem and encourage a sense of real-world milieu where all Americans are at fault.

Refusing to honor America’s national anthem and flag will not gain NFL players support for their concerns. To try and justify their concerns by demeaning the nation’s birthright symbols, and to believe it is, unnecessary to exercise and hold evident the higher principles of respect manifested in those symbols, should be beyond the ability of every rational person to comprehend. So, excuse the writer if there appears to be a total lack of ambivalence toward the NFL player’s protest, as there is.

Ira Clevenger
Las Cruces