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Letter: Player needs to respect flag when he’s in uniform

Player needs to respect flag when he’s in uniform

Recently there has been a lot of discussion over Colin Kaepernick’s right to kneel during the national anthem. A letter writer stated that it is downright wrong to call him anti-American, and that he has the right to kneel because this is what America stands for – freedom of his First Amendment rights. I disagree.

You see, Kaepernick wears a uniform, a uniform that represents a team, owned by a man, who has standards set by the National Football League. If a player showboats on the field or behaves excessively in the end zone, then he is fined. Isn’t that considered exercising his First Amendment rights, too?

If a police officer, firefighter or military person displayed a sign while in uniform and on duty that degrades Kaepernick for his actions, that person would be disciplined or possibly terminated because we represent the entity that we are employed by. The charges would be “conduct unbecoming of an officer,” “conduct detrimental” or other violations of rules and regulations.

Kaepernick can exercise his rights all he wants on his own time, or in any reasonable fashion he chooses off duty, but when he uses the NFL as his stage – the same stage that affords him the millions of dollars that my great country provides him – then he should face some sort of punishment or sanction, like other people who wear uniforms.

To kneel at a stadium, disrespecting our national anthem, while being protected by the droves of police officers employed by the team all around him is plain idiotic.

So, letter writer, you go ahead and kneel with this grandstander. I stand proudly, and will continue to voice my right of opinion as well. If you don’t like my country, then leave.

Michael Davies

Lieutenant/Assistant Aviation Security Coordinator, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department

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