Kneeling is not meant as disrespect

Dear Editor,
Disrespecting the Flag! Really?
I read Mrs. Donna McLean’s article last week  about the NFL in The Magee Courier and wanted to respond.
First, I must say that I am truly sorry that she and others alike are “not feeling football” because of the protest. While I respect her opinion, I do not agree with it. I don’t consider kneeling during the anthem a disrespectful behavior. Most of you already know that players kneeling has nothing to do with the flag. It’s only a peaceful protest  against racially motivated killings of innocent Americans, (mostly black). While many do not see this as a problem, it is very important in the black communities.
Secondly, it should not matter how much money these players make. They are not given money, they work hard year round to represent their teams. This does not come without great sacrifices of being with their families and getting concussions. They became millionaires because of hard physical labor, not because they were entitled.
Thirdly, I encourage all of you to read the United States Flag Codes. Disrespecting the flag occurs when: the flag is used in advertisement before, during and after an election. Disrespecting the flag occurs when the flag is lying flat at every  NFL football game when it is suppose to be upright and blowing freely.
Standing and saluting the flag is an American tradition. Traditions can and will be broken at some point in life. You do not get to choose how an individual lawfully protest. However, if one choose to break a tradition, I don’t think anyone has the right to demand, label or ostracize them for it. If people are that concern about the flag and what actions disrespect it, let us all demand our politicians to stop disrespecting it during the course of an election.
While it is left up to any individual to stop watching NFL games, it is not right to imply that players should basically do what others deem necessary just because they make millions. 
Players are American citizens and they have the same right as others. 
They have made it plain as day that they are protesting police brutality, killing and using excessive force while encountering black men, women and children. So for those of you that insist it’s disrespectful, I respect your feelings and wonder why you can’t respect the players feelings. 
It is not a right and wrong situation here. It is not an unlawful situation here. The situation here is the willingness to respect others opinions even if they do not shadow your own.
The comments about most football players left college before graduating and if not they only graduated in General Studies were totally unnecessary. Those comments seem racial. However, that is the way the person felt and it’s their right to say it.
I feel like people are using the flag narrative because what they are really outraged about is the nerve of black millionaire who has concerns and was brave enough to let it be known. You cannot control people lawful actions. 
Saluting the flag is just a tradition, the game is still being played. If we are all truthful, that’s what players are payed to do; Play the game and that’s what they are doing.
Before 2009 the players stayed in the locker room during the anthem doing who knows what and no one cared. Now, some want to complain about being disrespectful. Ask yourself, is it really about the flag or the protest. 
Please stop the hypocrisy. You are protesting the games and that is your right. The players are protesting their concerns and that is their right. So why is  their protest so different and degrading than yours? Only you can answer.
What I think was disrespectful was the President of the USA calling players who kneel during the anthem “SOB’s”. But very few are disgusted or outraged about that comment. Is it right to accept this behavior from someone who represents America?  Apparently so. But kneeling is unacceptable? Only to those who want it to be. Once again, please stop the hypocrisy. It takes from the freedom and beauty of being American, - “land of the free and the home of the brave”.
In closing, out of curiosity, when is the proper place, time and topic for blacks to protest? My knowledge of current and past history has shown me that in society there is never a correct time for blacks to protest.
Meanwhile, I would like all to know, I have much respect for Donna McLean, after all she was my 8th grade English teacher.
Charla “Demetri Durr” Magee


Area high schools have chosen their top graduates for special honors at graduation ceremonies across the county this month.  They will be recognized and speak to audiences at those ceremonies.