My mother is from Nevada and came from pioneer stock.  Her mother immigrated to the Tahoe basin in the early 1900s and her father was born on Sweetwater Ranch near Bridgeport, California; a lovely town in the mountains between Tahoe and Yosemite.  My grandfather’s parents sold their ranch and moved to Reno so their children could attend college.  It was there that my grandfather received his engineering degree.  His son, my uncle also attended the University of Nevada and received his degree in electrical engineering and it was at the University that his wife taught.  I have a great appreciation for the University and was excited when Nevada and La Tech found themselves in the same conference.  Ten years ago a young quarterback joined the Wolf Pack of Nevada and it was with mixed feelings when we saw a young Colin Kaepernick pass for 404 yards and scored 3 touchdowns as Nevada defeated La Tech.

America is rock solid on its’ rights and liberties as addressed by the Constitution.  A person is allowed freedom of speech and allowed to protest in any way as long as it does not harm another individual.  It doesn’t matter whatever the protest is directed at nor does it matter if it is objected to by the majority of the country, that person still has the right to protest.  So, when Colin Kaepernick refused to rise for the playing of the iconic song of our great nation at a pre-season NFL game, he had every right to do so; but America also has a right to comment its’ negative feelings toward him.

The NFL is considered by many to be America’s game.  To me there is nothing better than standing on the football field, helmet under the arm, facing the American flag and listening to the playing of the Star Spangled Banner prior to kickoff.  It is as if there is a commonality of American pride at that time.   That is why a man that has been blessed under the flag of freedom, a man made a multi-millionaire by the sport of football, a man that was allowed to follow his dream has the contention to protest a cause of his by not joining his team mates as they rose and respected the American flag and the playing of the national anthem.

Viet Nam was a very unpopular war.  Some service men that served their county were spat on when they returned from battle.  I knew one young marine that received such a welcome home.  The father on Pawn Star, a navy retiree, likewise had to be subjected to this disgrace but as he said, that person wouldn’t make that mistake again.  It was so saddening to think of our men and women to be treated in that manner.  To me, the disrespectful acts of Colin Kaepernick are nothing less than a slap in the face of the great nation that we share.  Hundreds of thousands of men and women died under the American flag to keep the nation free.  Many thousands of these died in the cause to eliminate slavery, the American Civil War.  It is unbelievable that instead of embracing the flag and the ideals it represents, a member of the NFL decides to protest in the manner.

Though he has every right to descent in this manner Kaepernick must also realize that he must face the consequences of his protest.  Respect for him must certainly have been tarnished.  I find it hard to pull for a Nevada grad after this disgraceful display.  Surely commercial endorsements are being questioned at this time.

What is disturbing is the soft soaping from the NFL.  While their comment on the issue was appropriate it fell short of support for the flag and the nation that a strong supporter of our nation should have provided.  I still remember when two African American athletes protested on the medal podium at the Olympics in Mexico City.  The International Olympic Stripped the two of their medals.  A strong message was sent to the athletes competing in the Olympics.

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