The National Football League players who knelt or raised their fists during the playing of the national anthem at Sunday’s games insulted all Americans, especially veterans who fought under the American flag, and provided the freedom that permits men to play pro football and draw huge salaries.

Even though there have been racial issues, and blacks and others of color have been victims of discrimination, this country has made considerable progress in race relations. Some of the players joined others in protesting because of alleged injustices by police against blacks.

There aren’t many NFL players who have served in the military and so we couldn’t expect them to believe in the flag as veterans do. But there are millions of Americans who respect the flag and who did not serve in the military. They believe in what the flag stands for and would never be disrespectful of it. It’s true the majority of Americans have not felt the pain of discrimination.

There is no justification for the players to act the way they did. They are turning their backs on this country, although overall it has been good to them, and for their talents on the field they have been richly rewarded. 

Their disrespect of the American flag has angered many Americans, who believe the players should be grateful to live in a country that has been so good to them. The players should especially be grateful to the veterans who fought for them.

These acts, and other protests, actually are working against those who are complaining that our system of government works against them. It adds to the division we have in the country. Many Americans who were sympathetic to the street protesters at one time no longer are. When protesting turns to violence, their cause suffers.

Frankly, in the case of the players’ disrespect of the flag and what it stands for, those acts are turning people against them. If it continues, as to what already is being heard, attendance will suffer. That is not far-fetched!

Again, the players owe an apology to all the veterans who offered up their lives to protect what the flag stands for — the players’ disrespect of the flag is a slap to the face to all veterans.