Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem has taken over the news cycle. It seems almost everyone has weighed in on the issue except one, extremely important group: American veterans. That changed Tuesday night the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick was trending worldwide on Twitter, with thousands of vets supporting the San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s right to choose to stand or sit during the national anthem.
Vets of all races voiced their support for Kaepernick and called on Americans to understand that they fought for his rights to free speech and to protest. Here is a sampling of the tweets:
Whether you agree with Kaepernick or not is beside the point, #VeteransForKaepernick was a reminder that even in our armed forces there is a diversity of opinion and thought. The people who defend us aren’t all just like-minded drones. They can understand nuance and realize that maybe Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem is not a shot at the military (he’s said it isn’t and that he has family that has served) but instead a way to raise awareness of systemic issues in our country.
Scrolling through those tweets above is enlightening. The people who defend us defend all of our freedoms, including the most basic: freedom of speech.