Kelly Nunes was feeling disgusted.
18. August 2017
To Whom It May Concern,
Here it is, a Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m sitting at home, enjoying my night off from work, when a news article from Sports Illustrated entitled “Justin Britt Puts Hand On Shoulder Of Michael Bennett During National Anthem Protest” flashes across my iPhone. Halfheartedly interested, I decide to read the article. At its conclusion, I find myself completely angered at another overpaid, over-privileged professional athlete (Colin Kaepernick, Marshawn Lynch & Malcolm Jenkins, just to name a few…) who has the audacity to protest in this manner.
After reading this article and observing all of these athletes’ protest in such a disgraceful display of disrespect, I can no longer sit by in silence. I don’t normally do things such as I am doing now, however, what these athletes are doing is so despicable that it moved me to take action, something, anything, to put an end to this.
The national anthem is played prior to the start of sporting events, of all levels, in the United States as a way of showing respect for the freedoms we have in this country and to honor all of those individuals who have paid the ultimate price for those freedoms with their lives. In addition, the national anthem is played to honor all of those men and women currently serving our country throughout the world, putting their lives on the line each and every day, sacrificing all of their comforts for the rest of us.
My father, whom I despise, was a Vietnam Era USAF Pararescueman (PJ), the only thing he did that gave me reason to be proud. He risked his life for 10 years, living up to the motto, “These Things We Do, That Others May Live.” My father sacrificed everything, including his family, in order to save countless lives, including former Presidents. My brother-in-law rose from the USAF enlisted ranks to become an officer and eventually a U-2 pilot. My brother-in-law was the pilot that over-flew North Korea to take the photos of their first nuclear detonation. The North Koreans still have a bounty on his head to this day. Fortunately, I never had to experience these things. Both my father and brother-in-law sacrificed everything in service of this country, to them they were just doing their jobs. These professional athletes dishonor and disrespect them, their service and their sacrifice by protesting in this way. I find it repugnant that these athletes, most of whom have never sacrificed anything, protest in such a way.
Each time one of these professional athletes take a seat during the national anthem, they dishonor and disrespect the memories of each and every soldier, sailor, airman and marine who has sacrificed their lives for those freedoms. Furthermore, to watch these professional athletes sit during the playing of the national anthem with a military color guard on the field is a slap in the face to every past, present and future military member. Every one of these athletes should be totally and completely ashamed of themselves.
I understand that there are things wrong in this country. Believe me, I have my own prejudices against the government of the United States, but protesting against those injustices in such a way is wrong, especially considering the context in which the anthem is played and what it represents. If those professional athletes want to protest, find another way. Maybe they should start with their own lives. Protest those injustices by not having 15 children with 5 different women? Protest those injustices by teaching those children that it’s not acceptable to beat women? Protest those injustices by teaching those children that it’s not okay to beat people, to sell drugs or to kill…? I could go on and on…
Now, I’m nobody special. I’m not famous nor important to anyone. I’m just a speck of dust in this whole big world and my refusing to spend my hard-earned money probably won’t make a dent in the pockets of the NFL, MLB, NBA or affect any individual player. But, I have decided that, as of today, if the NFL, MLB, NBA, my two favorite teams, the Dodgers & Raiders or any other sports organization allows this kind of activity to go on without consequence I will:
• No longer watch any game on TV
• No longer attend any game in person
• No longer purchase any team apparel
• No longer subscribe to sports magazines
I will be posting a copy of this letter to Facebook and I’ll be mailing copies to the NFL, MLB, NBA, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Raiders. How they respond to this situation shall determine my future involvement with any of them.
Finally, I say, it is your right, as a free citizen of the United States, to protest an injustice and demand fair and equal treatment, but do not protest in such a way as to dishonor and disrespect those who have fought and died to guarantee your rights to do so…
Kelly Bryan Nunes