Carolina Panthers All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly has his jersey retired at Boston College, where he played his collegiate career prior to being drafted ninth overall by the Panthers in the 2002 NFL Draft. Kuechly has been a dominant linebacker in the NFL since joining the league, leading the league in tackles multiple years, winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year (2012) award, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year (2013) award and has been selected to multiple NFL Pro Bowls.
Kuechly was just as dominant during his three years at Boston College, collecting 532 total tackles, 299 of those solo, also recording seven interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. Kuechly was named the ACC Rookie Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and ACC Player of the Year in 2011. Kuechly was also named First-Team All-American and First-Team All-ACC all three years he was at Boston College.
Kneeling during the National Anthem, protesting American injustice against minorities, taking a stand against something you believe is wrong. It all starting with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but quickly spread to many other NFL players, Arian Foster, Kenny Stills, Malcolm Jenkins and Bruce Irvin just to name a few of the higher profile NFL players who have joined Kaepernick in his protest. It's even spread to other sports with star players following Kaepernick's lead. The problem is, it is completely disgraceful, disrespectful and should not be tolerated by the NFL or NFL teams.
I understand Kaepernick and his band of followers feel they have the right (which they do) and the need to protest, I even understand why the feel they need to protest, but I firmly believe they are going about it the complete wrong way. Protesting and standing up for something you truly believe in is one thing, however doing it against the American Flag, a flag that has absolutely nothing to do with what these players are protesting is not in anyway the appropriate way to do it.
By protesting against the American Flag, these players aren't protesting against the people they feel are creating the injusting, the discrimination, the oppression they believe is occurring in the United States. No, in contrast, by protesting against the American Flag, these players are disrespecting the United States military, active duty, reserves, veterans and those who fought and lost their life for the American Flag. These people have absolutely nothing to do with the injustices that are supposedly prevalent in today's society. The American Flag represents our nation's bravest and most unselfish people that have ever been called Americans. The flag does not represent the police officers, the justice system and the organization(s) that these players are attempting to protest.
So if Kaepernick and his band of mindless followers want to continue their publicity stunt, find another way to do it, because the way it is being conducted right now is a disgrace and as disrespectful as you can possibly get to the ones who fought and died to even allow you to put on this show in the first place. You want to protest, fine, protest, but use what small amount of brain you have and do it properly. This isn't a fight against our American Flag.
I have tremendous respect for the majority of players in the NFL, and every other professional sport, that have not been taking into this disgusting publicity stunt and have stood during the national anthem and given the anthem and the flag the respect it deserves. And I honestly do respect the what the Seattle Seahawks as a team decided to do, provide a show of unity as a team, much like the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons did during the national anthem in joining at midfield, together, and joining hands in a circle as another show of unity. This is how players, if they wish to do so, should protest, in a show of unity, not in a publicity stunt only bringing attention to yourself.