Letter to the Editor: NFL Athletes Have a Right to Protest, I Have a Right to Never Watch the NFL Again

Tennessee Star

Dear Tennessee Star,

I spent ten years serving this nation in uniform. My dad served four years when he was young. My son retired from the Air Force, serving honorably with multiple tours in the Middle East. I have friends who made careers serving in the military. One in particular served over thirty years earning several medals, including three purple hearts and the Bronze Star. Another friend served 28 years, and lost her husband in combat while he served in Afghanistan. Other friends served in WWII, saving the world from fascism. Some came home maimed while others buried their friends on foreign soil.

Back in the ’60’s, soldiers returned from Vietnam only to be met by protesters who berated and spat on them. While the protesters were protected by the First Amendment, their actions were deplorable. As far as I’m concerned, professional athletes who refuse to stand for our National Anthem not only disrespect our flag, they are figuratively spitting on every man and woman who served this nation in uniform.

Athletes play their sport because they’re talented. We served our country because of our principles: Duty, Honor, Country.

I’m a strong advocate for the Constitution. I’m a firm believer in our Bill of Rights. The First Amendment is just as important as every other Amendment. This Amendment protects – among other things – the right to free speech, especially if that speech is offensive. Athletes have the right to protest. But if I’m offended by them disrespecting the National Anthem, our flag, and the men and women who served in uniform, I have the right to never watch professional football again.

I won’t.


Steve O.
Sevierville, TN



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One Thought to “Letter to the Editor: NFL Athletes Have a Right to Protest, I Have a Right to Never Watch the NFL Again”

  1. Sherrie Orange

    Steve O. …My dad is 91 years old and a proud WWII Navy Veteran who fought in the Pacific. He saw the Japanese hurl their planes into ships and kill many servicemen. Dad landed equipment, drove ambulances and jeeps and helped carry Marines and tanks and other equipment onto the beaches. He navigated ships, shot Japs, did look out duty, and whatever was asked of him. He stands solidly with you. Standing for the National Anthem is a privilege to him and he always remembers those who fought beside him and didn’t return.It is our personal responsibility and duty as citizens to stand as a sign of respect. My grandfathers both fought in WWI. My brother was an Army doctor. My nephew, a proud Marine, served two tours in Afghanistan. Thank you for your family’s service. We proudly stand with you and your family.