In the controversy of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem as a sign of protest against injustices in our society and the opposing opinion that this act shows disrespect toward the flag, there seems to me several misunderstandings. One stands and places your hand over your heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, but placing the hand on your heart need not be done for the playing of the anthem. Kneeling has always been a sign of respect, not disrespect, for instance when kneeling before one's king or before one's god. Why do we insist on playing the national anthem prior to sporting events which is not done in the rest of the world? Why is it anti-American to exercise the right of free speech, while many drape themselves in the flag hypocritically while trying to deny others the freedom to exercise that right? Perhaps we should concentrate on more serious issues facing the nation than rather if one chooses to stand or kneel during the anthem.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.