The patriotism and character of athletes who choose to express their dismay about racial discrimination during the playing of the national anthem has been questioned.
It should be acknowledged that peaceful protest in America is a cherished right enjoyed by every citizen. Some of the most important issues of our time have been highlighted by the protest of ordinary people. Some of the most important changes in our society have come about through peaceful protest.
Think of the women’s suffrage movement, think of the voting-rights movement,
think of the gender-equality movement, think of the Vietnam War protests. All those movements exemplified the best in our country and the best in the citizens who believed in those causes.
Who is a patriot? One who sees injustice and says something. I may disagree with their point of view, but I respect their right of dissent, just as I expect them to respect my right to have a different opinion.