Countless Americans have expressed their disappointment in NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand and show respect to the American flag during the national anthem at a preseason game last week.
One of the most powerful responses to the San Francisco player’s controversial stance came from a Gold Star mom who wrote about the issue on social media.
“My heart is exploding, my lungs are without air, my blood is boiling, my body is shaking, and tears are running down my face,” the mother wrote, in a statement posted on Twitter by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
The former start 49ers quarterback now struggling just to stay on the team pointed to the oppression of black people as the reason behind his refusal to stand for the national anthem.
Showing respect for the American flag would be “selfish” because “there are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” Kaepernick said.
However, there are other bodies that go largely unappreciated, the unnamed Gold Star mom pointed out — veterans who have given their lives in service to their country.
“I am sitting in my living room looking outside at my American flag — flying at half staff,” she wrote. “You see, my son’s body lay in a street after an [improvised explosive device] blew up the vehicle he was fighting in. His blood stains the sands of Afghanistan. He died protecting the ideals of the flag you refuse to respect.”
“He died so that ungrateful, privileged, and arrogant men like you can be just that — ungrateful, privileged, and arrogant,” she continued. “There are brave men and women all around that stand between evil and you. Men and women willing to die to protect you because they believe in the ideals this country was founded on.
Whatever you may think about Colin Kaepernick’s decision, here’s how it impacted one Gold Star Mom. pic.twitter.com/3uaUxNsFoM
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 28, 2016
Kaepernick has pledged to continue his protest against the American flag and the supposed “oppression” it represents until there is “significant change” in this country.
The Gold Star mom and many others wondered why the prominent athlete didn’t feel as compelled to use his status to honor veterans.
“You are a public figure, someone young people look to as an example. Shame on you,” she wrote. “Shame on you for your disrespect towards those who are true examples of honesty, integrity, pride, and leadership. Shame on you for disrespecting my son and his life. His sacrifice.”
This grieving mother is 100 percent correct — it is a shame that this multi-million dollar quarterback has used his position to disrespect the flag, the country and the veterans whose heroic and selfless actions allowed Kaepernick to live and prosper in the greatest country the world has ever known.
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