These Veterans Want To Set The Record Straight About Colin KaepernickAugust 31, 2016
When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the national anthem, it was in protest. But his actions were met with their own, very loud, protests. Many criticized his actions as unpatriotic, and one frequent refrain was that it was disrespectful to veterans.
Marcus Newsome took issue with that. As a U.S. Army veteran himself, he began the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick to push back against this sentiment. He told BuzzFeed he was tired of people "using vets as the scapegoat to fuel their argument against Kap's stance."
As you can imagine, Newsome's Twitter feed has blown up since the hashtag took off. He's had the full range of responses from enthusiastic agreement to straight up harassment.
How is it disrespect? The first amendment affords him that right to protest. Read your constitution. https://t.co/TyQgQZrW5i— #VeteransForKaep (@WinkWestwood) August 31, 2016
In the days since, veterans have joined the discussion in droves.
For some, the frustration was about veterans being spoken over and used in moral arguments they might not agree with.
But others wanted to talk about freedom of speech, and the rights veterans defend with their service.
Some pointed to the fact that veterans take an oath to defend the Constitution but have no obligation to the flag or the national anthem. (The national anthem has some pretty heavy racial implications anyway.)
Others brought the conversation back to Kaepernick's original reasons for protest: racism and police brutality.