Veterans Speak Out About Moses Brown Coach Who Kneels at National Anthem
Friday, October 06, 2017
Coach Eric Aaronian declared last Friday, in part, in an email to his team's parents, “I have been moved to be a stronger ally to those who are targets of injustice.”
But, many of the veterans GoLocal spoke to believe that kneeling during the national anthem is inappropriate and an insult to those who serve in the United States military. And, each of the veterans expressed support for the right of expression and the corresponding ramifications.
“I believe Mr. Glendinning is trying to navigate the treacherous waters of today’s political discourse. Unfortunately, the conversation has positioned itself in such a way that if you disagree with kneeling during the national anthem then you are denying racial injustice. It is a lose-lose situation,” said Tristan Hood, a Brown University student and Air Force veteran who completed two tours in Iraq.
"When he says, 'Hatred and the denial of racial injustice in our country has no place at Moses Brown' he is suggesting that those who do not support the coach’s behavior, are in some way rejecting racial injustice at large. No one is denying racial injustice, but they are denying kneeling during the anthem and disrespecting the flag and our country. It is an ultimatum. This is a false stance and quite frankly, an intellectually disingenuous argument. His words and the coach’s actions are clearly a political statement despite claiming an apolitical stance," added Hood who interned for United States Senator Jack Reed this past summer.
“Whenever the National Anthem plays I remember that after two combat tours in Baghdad and a couple of years in Afghanistan the actual cost and sacrifice that keep the colors flying is insurmountable. I have loaded too many brothers and sisters onto their final flights home, so that they may rest forever under the flag. I know that under that flag, despite our checkered and sometimes abhorrent past, people in the United States experience a better standard of living and range of freedoms than almost anywhere else in the world. For these reasons, I will not kneel, and I will honor them always by standing during the Anthem. But like I mentioned, these are my reasons. I have every right to them as Coach Aaronian and Mr. Glendinning have a right to theirs,” he added.
Retired Staff Sergeant Taylor Horridge told GoLocal, “My belief is that sports are things that can bring us together as one...same with the National Anthem...political causes belong in their own Coliseum.”
In Glendinning’s letter, he made no comment about the value of military service. READ HIS LETTER HERE
"As someone who has served his country, I respect the rights of all citizens. While I may not personally agree with everything expressed and some veterans may disagree with me on this matter, I especially respect the rights of all Americans to have divergent opinions on some matters -- including kneeling during the National Anthem. No matter these respectful disagreements, I ask everyone to understand these deeply personal decisions are what many of us fought to protect," said Major Matt Fecteau, Iraq War Veteran, and GoLocal MINDSETTER™.
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