“We can continue as a nation to sweep problems under the rug on which we stand – or we can take a knee.”

by Steve Link,

HAVE TO SAY THIS: If I thought the NFL protests were a slap in the face to “our soldiers, our police officers, and our veterans” as some have claimed, I’d be right there with those who object.

On Tuesday, October 9 the Press Secretary for our administrative branch of government said, “We support the national anthem, the flag, and the men and women who fought to defend it.”

Well, I was proud to serve in the military. Never in harm’s way, but served on active duty for two years. I was a Drill Sergeant. Most of my trainees went to Vietnam. They did not fight for a flag.

Our nation’s flag is supposed to denote and identify our great country. IT IS A SYMBOL, NOT AN IDOL. It symbolizes this nation of people and the systems within which we live – including the good and the bad. Certainly, no one salutes the flag to honor what’s wrong in America, but the bad is part of American life just as it is globally.

I can understand some of the confusion surrounding for whom the flag flies. Many Americans believe that the United States is the “greatest nation on earth.” That’s just not so and is, frankly, fake news. The one way in which we ARE far above all other nations is in military strength. So one might confuse the symbolism of our flag as being militaristic. But our flag is certainly not designed to represent any special segment of our citizenry. Most Americans do not serve in the military or law enforcement. Rather, the American flag it is a symbol of equality for all – among other ideals – for which we try to stand as a people. (And “equality for all” is also fake news.) 

So, I do not see the NFL players disrespecting any individuals. No, they are trying the best they can to turn our collective attention to problems in our country that are morally abhorrent. I am pleased that some of them have been passionate enough to take risks and draw upon a large audience to make a statement that needs hearing (and seeing).

We can continue as a nation to sweep problems under the rug on which we stand – or we can take a knee.

Steve Link, a former Drill Sergeant

lives in the Landen Farm Lake Community

and a recent Peace Corps Volunteer.


  1. The flag is an idol, because the flag, is made of graven images…The god of the US is the star spangled of heaven above and the bald eagle of the earth below…The founding fathers set the graven images on the flag, and the flag is high and lifted up on a flag pole…The idols of wood, of stone, of silver, and gold, were replaced with idols of fabric (the flag)…You call the graven images of the flag “SYMBOLS”, but the God of Israel, calls the graven images of the flag “IDOLS” (Ex.20:1-5, De.4:15-19)…Israel is serving the star remphan of heaven (Acts 7:43)…Israel calls the graven image “the star of David”…Canada is serving the leaf of the maple tree of the earth…Mexico is serving the serpent and eagle of the earth…Japan is serving the sun of heaven…If you are serving the flag, you are serving idols.

  2. I don’t oppose the NFL protests. I simply have no desire to watch grown men claim ‘oppression’ when they are paid millions of dollars per year to chase a leather ball around a field. I wish someone would oppress me like that! In the meantime, my Sunday afternoons will be spent doing something more productive and enjoyable than watching million-dollar crybabies. The NFL can continue to watch its ratings and attendance tank.

    • The players demonstrations have nothing to do with oppression of themselves. They are demonstrating on behalf of others less fortunate.

      • How are NFL players’ protests helping those less fortunate than themselves? Attendance is down at NFL games this season (see link below). Fewer fans means reduced spending on game and parking tickets, merchandise and consumables at NFL stadiums, which are often based in the inner cities home to many of the less fortunate. Fans are also spending less with the local entrepreneurs adjacent to NFL stadiums (e.g., restaurants, street vendors, parking lots and homeless sign-holders).

        How does this reduced economic activity benefit the less fortunate? Sales tax revenues and job-related benefits have decreased for people who work at and around NFL stadiums. Protesting NFL players do not seem to see these consequences of their actions.


        “The president of the Baltimore Ravens told fans and sponsors in a letter that its game attendance during the 2017 season has been hurt by players’ national anthem protests.

        Team President Dick Cass made the announcement this week, the Wall Street Journal reported.

        On “Fox & Friends,” Pete Hegseth said the Ravens’ attendance at M&T Bank Stadium declined this year despite the fact the team is second in their division behind the Pittsburgh Steelers.

        He also said that the protest by about a dozen players at the Ravens’ September game in London could be chiefly to blame.

        Players on both the Ravens and the opposing Jacksonville Jaguars were criticized for protesting during the “Star-Spangled Banner” but standing up for Britain’s “God Save the Queen.”

        The demonstrations “became an emotional and divisive issue,” Cass wrote, according to The Journal. “We know that hurt some of you.”

        He said that the higher amount of empty seats is “noticeable” during the games.
        The Journal reported that Cass’ letter contradicts the league office, which holds that the protests have had no significant effect on game attendance changes.”

  3. Steve, thank you for your service and for speaking out on this issue. Hopefully, your words will truly be heard by those who oppose the NFL protests because of the supposed offense to our military (but have not themselves served!) The flag, and the rights it represents, belong to us all, not just to those who fight under it.

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