For many years "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been played prior to sporting events. This has been a fitting tribute and reminder of the brave men and women who sacrificed for our country. In a sense it is a thank-you note for freedom. I do appreciate freedom of speech and at times I have stood on the sidewalk holding my own sign in the air. I am usually in support of a cause or a person, not in protest.

In my opinion, there is a right way and a wrong way to protest. What these so-called "professional athletes" are doing is legal but in extreme poor taste. They can spin it any way they want but to mock the flag and the national anthem is to say, "If we can't have things our way, we don't care if the whole thing goes down." This is childish and immature behavior, equivalent to the playground brat who doesn't get his way then pouts, sulks or throws a tantrum in an attempt to ruin it for everyone else.

The irony and hypocrisy of the matter is that they say they are protesting for social justice. How about some social justice for President Donald Trump and his supporters? "Us people" who support Trump endured eight years of what we adamantly opposed under President Barack Obama. Did you see anything even close to the contempt and venom now on display? We respectfully waited for Election Day. Here's a news flash: There will be another one in three years.

The protesters say that they want to send a message to America, and they certainly are. They are saying that they are the most intolerant bunch of bigots that have ever been. Do you want a group like this wielding more political power in the country? I don't.

Roger Buechler, Bismarck

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