NFL protests illustrate the right to peaceful protest

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If nothing else comes from the ever-growing protests that are flourishing and multiplying throughout the juggernaut that is the NFL brand, at least those of us concerned will be forced to do a meager amount of soul- searching and come to terms with the viewpoints we harbor towards some of the subjects that makes us cringe concerning the country in which we all live.

The ever-present silver lining can be seen in the questions we are forced to ask ourselves regarding precisely why these actions are bringing about the emotions that we feel.

The protests we see on Thursdays and Sundays, brought on by the kneeling of a deteriorating quarterback, have shaken avid sports fan and non-viewers alike to their core. This movement, if it can be called that, is occurring during a time of extraordinary strife and monumental discourse in the United States.

From the gut-wrenching, albeit, lawful, assembly of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, to the same lawful gatherings we have seen at the entrance to our own campus for the past two plus years, one thing is painstakingly obvious: These protests are a reflexion of these assemblies.

As a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, I watch these events with intrigue. I hear, read and view pundits and pontificators cite national pride, disrespect for our flag and reverence towards our troops or veterans as talking points to dissect the current situations we face as a nation. Those viewpoints are fair and warrant discussion.

Those viewpoints also ignore the glaringly gigantic elephant in the room. It doesn’t matter what Colin Kaepernick was protesting when all of this started.

Where is our sense of alarm for the fact that we are disparaging a peaceful protest? Have we forgotten that this nation of ours was founded on much less peaceful protests? Does a somewhat significant event referred to as The Boston Tea Party bring to mind a much more active form of protest?

If Colin Kaepernick didn’t like Lipton product and chose to vent his frustrations with the company by going to his local grocery store and dumping all their Lipton products in a dumpster, he’d be arrested for destruction of property.

The aforementioned scenario is, in essence, what our ancestors chose to do to show their dissatisfaction with the status quo.

If you ask me, Colin Kaepernick’s response to what he feels is unjust in his country is mild compared to how our ancestors thought a protest should be handled.

If we, as the citizens and shepherds of our democracy, refuse to tolerate a peaceful protest, what’s next? Free speech?