ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: Megan Rapinoe #15 kneels during the National Anthem prior to the match between the United States and the Netherlands at Georgia Dome on September 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) ** OUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD **
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: Megan Rapinoe #15 kneels during the National Anthem prior to the match between the United States and the Netherlands at Georgia Dome on September 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) ** OUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD ** (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Letter writer Ed McFadden’s comments missed the point I was making (“No, Rapinoe did not disrespect her country, she freely expressed her opinion - that’s what U.S. is about,” July 15). Anyone has the right to criticize the mayor, governor, president or any of our elected officials. The U.S. Constitution guarantees that, and I served in our military to help defend that right.

My comments were regarding the disrespect these athletes show for our country by their actions during the playing of our National Anthem at international sporting events, and I was questioning why. What has our country done to them to deserve this? If Mr. McFadden served overseas, I am sure he heard the standard lecture on representing our country in a positive manner.

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I feel the same responsibility falls on athletes paid to represent America. It makes me wonder if the motive for some of these people is really “patriotic” or, as I believe, self-seeking publicity since the press loves to get the more interesting juicy comments. Remarks regarding the sport Ms. Rapinoe excels in are certainly worth listening to for soccer fans. I don’t feel the political views or actions of Ms. Rapinoe or any other athlete or celebrity are of any more value than the average American. The press just loves this stuff, particularly if it is the least bit controversial.

The bottom line is dislike whomever you want but don’t knock the country, our flag or our national anthem, particularly in a foreign country.

Patrick M. Lynch , Glen Burnie

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