After the drama over NFL protests, there's lots to think about

A couple friends have said they won't watch NFL anymore, and it raised some questions in my mind:

Do we really believe that people have the guaranteed right to peacefully protest as a variation of free speech? I'm thinking of women who had to protest loudly for years to vote; was that protest OK?

Do white supremacists and neo-Nazis have the right to protest?

Is it really more disruptive to kneel quietly on one knee, maybe even with a hand on one's heart, than to march, shouting "Blood and soil" and "Jews will not replace us" while waving a Confederate flag sewn to promote separation from the U.S. altogether? Honest to God: which protest is less patriotic?

Could it be that some people just like telling other people what to do? Sit. Stand. Move to the back.

And when I look at what else happened on a recent Sunday in Las Vegas, do we really want to divide ourselves further with such a "Do it my way or else" position? The NRA asserts everyone has a right to stockpile assault weapons, but the NFL may say no one has a right to kneel during the anthem inside a stadium. Which image would the founding fathers see as emblematic of the American principles they envisioned?

By the way, while getting beer and nachos at the stadium or watching the NFL on TV with friends, did you stop what you were doing to stand with your hand on your heart when the national anthem was played? Does an American flag literally or figuratively deteriorate to tatters on your own patriotic flagpole? Lots to think about.

Judith Hearthway, Eden

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