Call It What You Want, But Disrespecting The National Anthem Is Hate Speech

Call It What You Want, But Disrespecting The National Anthem Is Hate Speech

I will stand enough times for the both of us.

If there's one thing you'll see over and over on any social media outlet these days, at any time of the day or on any news channel, it's professional athletes uniting by kneeling at the national anthem. There are thousands of opinions on this, but here's mine — It's such a terrible sight to see: our nation failing to come together in a peaceful manner yet again.

Will any of this ever stop?

I believe kneeling at the anthem is the most unpatriotic thing I've seen in eighteen years of living. The national anthem, all branches of the military, and the red, white and blue hit home for me, as I'm sure it does for many of you. I've had numerous family members serve in our military and currently my brother is on deployment in Syria, fighting for this divided nation at this very moment.

By kneeling you are not only disrespecting the national anthem and the people that died for it, but the people that are currently fighting for you.

Right now, my brother is spending another month in the Middle East fighting for our country, while people are bashing its name, burning our flags, and kneeling at our nation's anthem. It's disgusting and it's pathetic.

I believe that everybody has their own right to free speech and we can form our own opinions; don't get me wrong. But kneeling at a song that represents our country, the people that died fighting for it, and all that aspects that made it the way it is, is a whole other level of disgusting.

I didn't think times would get this bad, when following the terrible lead of one person would become the new "thing to do."

Colin Kaepernick is setting an example for today's youth that you should stand up for what you believe is right, but he did it in the WORST way I can think possible. There are plenty of other ways anybody could've gone about it.

This country is built on democracy and free speech, but why spread hate speech?

Call it what you want, but disrespecting the national anthem and all those that fought for YOUR right to free speech is as much hate as racism, homophobia and bigotry.

While you're choosing to kneel on your more than capable, healthy legs, there are double amputee veterans standing for you. There are veterans that lost limbs, their hearing, sight, or ability to walk that will STILL STAND FOR YOU. They are doing the work you should be doing because you're fed up with the way this country is going, and you're part of the problem.

My brother, his brothers, his best friends, are overseas right now fighting for your right to kneel during this supposedly respectable song. Men and women risked their lives and died for people like you to be proud of this country and to love the U.S.A. But what some people are doing diminishes all of the work and soul they put into fighting for this country.

Call it what you want. I dare you to talk to any veteran and any active military member and you are 100% entirely disrespecting the flag and all that comes along with it.

Next time you want to kneel during our nation's song, next time you're ashamed to stand and ashamed to be apart of this country, do people a favor and leave it.

I know damn well I'll stand tall and proud every... single... time that song comes on, enough for the both of us and enough for the people that don't appreciate this country the way you should.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.

I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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