Las Vegas Sun

March 20, 2019

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Letter to the editor:

More at stake than football

In the Aug. 30 letter headlined, “Anthem is not about politics,” the author first acknowledged that without the U.S. Constitution both the national anthem and American flag are meaningless and then argued it is love of country and the Constitution that should motivate Americans to stand for the flag.

The author, evidently a veteran, also stated that many took an oath to defend this country and that he would like to enjoy his retirement watching football without political attacks in the name of social justice.

For the record, the Enlistment Oath for soldiers says nothing about protecting this country other than protecting and defending the Constitution, the First Amendment of which clearly allows all (black or white, athlete or non-athlete) to speak and freely express themselves.

This is a nation of laws and not men. Therefore, the author can only blame interference with his football games on Donald Trump who, citing no legal authority for the same, suggested that there was something inherently wrong in expressing our First Amendment rights by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem.

While there is no law regarding the national anthem, U.S. Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8 recognizes 11 ways to disrespect the flag, none of which identifies kneeling as a show of disrespect.

I love this country, but I’m not blind to its injustices including those noted by Black Lives Matter, especially in light of the recent conviction of a police officer in the murder of a 15-year-old African American.

What I really don’t like is when a man like Trump, believing he’s above the law, cites a wrong when none exists, for the purpose of inciting racism for his political gain.

As to the author, I’m also retired and a lifetime sports fan, but I recognize football is just a game and our democracy is at stake. I’d suggest watching basketball and working to defeat Trump-like candidates like Dean Heller and Adam Laxalt.