Note: This story originally appeared on my blog on September 12, 2016.
The title of this post speaks for itself. Or, maybe it doesn’t. For everyone who hadn’t heard, model Kate Upton took to Twitter yesterday to excoriate NFL players who took a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
She wrote, in part:
In my opinion, the national anthem is a symbolic song about our country. It represents honoring the many brave men and women who sacrifice and have sacrificed their lives each and every single day to protect our freedom. Sitting or kneeling down during the national anthem is a disgrace to those people who have served and currently serve our country. Sitting down during the national anthem on September 11th is even more horrific. Protest all you want and use social media all you want. However, during the nearly two minutes when that song is playing, I believe everyone should put their hands on their heart and be proud of our country for we are all truly blessed. Recent history has shown that it is a place where anyone no matter what race or gender has the potential to become President of the United States. We live in the most special place in the world and should be thankful…
There are so many things wrong with Upton’s position, I barely know where to begin but I guess I’ll start with her decision to conflate the anti-police brutality stance of those NFL players with supposed anti-military sentiment. Despite the fact that many police departments around the country are militarizing at an alarming rate, cops are not military personnel.
Colin Kaepernick and his fellow NFL protesters know this and have made it clear that they are protesting ubiquitous police brutality and misconduct. The men and women who are serving in the military know this as well; there’s a reason for #VeteransForKaepernick.
Even if those NFL players were protesting the military, they would be well within their rights. The First Amendment right to protest is one of the many American freedoms that members of the United States military fight, and sometimes die, for.