Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Let Flag and National Anthem Unite Us

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Let Flag and National Anthem Unite Us

Article excerpt

The power of symbolism was illustrated last weekend when some NFL players, joined by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, locked arms, knelt or stayed in their locker rooms during the national anthem.

Many Times-Union readers reacted with fury to what they saw as disrespect to sacred icons of America.

As the week progressed, it was clear the National Football League had a very difficult situation on its hands.

From most every indication, however, it appeared at least some progress was being made.

Key members of the Jacksonville Jaguars indicated at mid-week they planned to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner'' before Sunday's game at the New York Jets.

A.J. Bouye, Jaguars starting cornerback, is one of them. Last Sunday in London, he was one of 15 Jaguars who knelt during the national anthem.

Special teams captain Arrelious Benn said he hopes the 53 players on the squad stand as one with their arms locked together.

We hope this plays out.

A stand for unity in America is healthy, in the right forum, and with a unified goal of making America the best that it can be.

Kneeling during the national anthem is highly disrespectful to our flag, our heritage and to those who have died so that we can enjoy its unprecedented freedoms and unassailable principles.

WHAT ARE THE PROTESTS ABOUT?

It remains somewhat unclear what the protest last weekend was all about.

- Was this act to protest unjustified police shootings of blacks? If so, the vast majority of the country would have linked arms with them. That said, police have a highly perilous job. And accountability should be expected.

- Was it to display outright indignation for America and what it stands for? We think not. But we believe the act of kneeling is offensive and unacceptable to the great majority of Americans.

- Was it to protest the comments made by President Donald Trump toward the NFL, and its "SOB'' players? The president didn't start this controversy, but he sure made the situation worse with his profane, crude and inflammatory comments and tweets.

HONORING THE FLAG

Readers understandably are upset by what they view as disrespect toward our symbols of national pride. We have printed many of the letters expressing outrage. …

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