Sports fans sit during National Anthem

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Of all our inalienable rights, the choice to stand or sit during the national anthem is one of the greatest.

“I cannot say it in the strongest, most direct way, that it’s an embarrassment and it’s about as disrespectful as any athlete has ever been and I don’t care what the cause is. The NFL football field is not a place for somebody to further their political ambitions. Can you imagine if a player went out on the field with a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and let’s vote for (Donald) Trump? It’s the same thing,” Former football player Boomer Esiason said, per Bob Glauber of Newsday.

Colin Kaepernick and anyone else for that matter, has the right to exercise his right to sit or stand during the national anthem. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution “prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.”

On a recent visit to Buffalo Wild Wings, patrons watched Kaepernick and his teammates kneeling during the anthem.

While this was happening, everyone in the bar section and the normal sitting area were booing him.

One man even had the audacity to flip off the channel. However, during the entire anthem not one person in the bar stood up, removed a hat or clapped at the end.

If the common notion is we all must stand for the national anthem, then why are grown men and woman sitting in a sports bar when it’s happening?

We were all taught in school to stand when the anthem is playing. It was meant to show support to our military and to the veterans who have served; especially after the horrible attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

The First Amendment states we have the right to peaceably assemble.

Many people attack the protests that support the Black Lives Matter movement because they’re violent and undisciplined, while Kaepernick started a protest that has many professional athletes peacefully challenging our country to change.

The common misconception in this country is the difference between patriotism and nationalism.

However, nationalism is blind pride in one’s country and that the country is great no matter what. While patriotism is special concern for the well-being of the country. Now the common American has often been more nationalist than patriotic. Often causing tension and gridlock because of blind arrogance.

These people in the bar that protested Kaepernick’s peaceful protest are the opposite of patriotic. The people in the bar did the exact opposite of what the First Amendment entails. They intend on infringing on his freedoms to peacefully protest or petition his government for the grievances minorities are feeling right now.

These people are the opposite of what this country is founded on.

Somewhere along the way the U.S. switched up patriotism with nationalism. Now, we have a blind sense of faith that is devoted to believing our country isn’t broken right now.

In reality all Kaepernick and other athletes are trying to do is follow the guidelines of what a true patriot is.