NFL PLAYERS RIGHTLY SPEAK THEIR MINDS ON RACISM IN AMERICA---Due Process is Also a Right for the Acc


Picture of Baltimore Ravens National Football League team, in London, England, September 24, 2017, taking a knee to protest President Trump's criticism of football players for refusing to stand for the national anthem to protest their perceived racism in America. (ABC news.com)

More and more athletes have joined American football player Colin Kaepernick's protest against police brutality and racism in the U.S. by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem at the beginning of amateur, college and professional sporting events. The players' decision to join Kaepernick's protest was mostly in response to President Donald Trump's criticism of them for disrespecting the flag and America's soldiers, and for Trump's calling upon the teams' ownership to fire the kneeling players.

In my opinion, the players' actions is a wonderful display of their right to express their opinions and concerns as a constitutional right to free speech. Our constitution protects all Americans' right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Even the burning of American flags can be a legitimate protest by Americans over political issues in the country, as reenforced by the United States Supreme Court affirmation of such constitutional actions.

Patriotism can be expressed in many ways, and not just through the traditional support of the American flag and military. Many times taking a moral stand, against injustices in America, is a higher form of patriotism than the easier symbols we are accustomed to such as wearing a flag lapel or standing for the national anthem.

Bravo to Colin Kaepernick, for his leadership in protesting what he perceives as police violence against American blacks and racism in general in the country. I would caution him, and his supporters, though, that the police also have a constitutional right to due process, a fair and speedy trial, and in our society, are considered "innocent until proven guilty."

In too many of these episodes as in the tragic deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, to name a few, the minority community, the press and citizens in the community where the event occurred, become judge, jury and executioner within days of the event. Their rush to judgment is usually based on incomplete videos, and/or partial or wrong information. Due process is also a right that is entitled to all Americans, including policemen.

With regard to President Trump's criticism of the NFL, none of his constitutional rights have been violated. It is he who denies the rights of these professional athletes to truly express their opinions in ways they see fit. Their actions do not violate the flag, nor our military. Trump is making a purely political statement to appeal to peoples emotions, but at the expense of true democracy in America.

It is he, the President, who is acting un-American!

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