One Marine colonel is not happy with National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell.
Over the several weeks, various NFL players have protested the national anthem by not standing at attention during the pre-game ceremony. San Fransisco 49er Colin Kaepernick, the team's backup quarterback, started the protests earlier this month after he took a knee during the anthem before a preseason game.
The protests have been widely criticized by most, while praised by many others.
However, retired Marine Col. Jeffrey A. Powers has taken specific issue with NFL commissioner Goodell, who has allowed the anthem protests to continue while threatening to fine players who honored the anniversary of 9/11 last week by wearing commemorative cleats.
Writing in an open letter to Goodell, Powers said the "multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game" are "essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have actually done something for this country."
According to Powers, Goodell is "complicit" in making NFL players believe "they're something special."
"You are complicit in this!" Powers wrote. "You’ll fine players for large and small infractions but you lack the moral courage and respect for our nation and the fallen to put an immediate stop to this."
"You condone it all by your refusal to act. You’re just as bad and disgusting as they are," he added. "I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not."
"Legends and heroes do NOT wear shoulder pads," Powers continued. "They wear body armor and carry rifles."
Read Power's full letter below:
I’ve been a season pass holder at Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl and Giants Stadium.
I missed the ’90-’91 season because I was with a battalion of Marines in Desert Storm. 14 of my wonderful Marines returned home with the American Flag draped across their lifeless bodies. My last conversation with one of them, Sgt Garrett Mongrella, was about how our Giants were going to the Super Bowl. He never got to see it.
Many friends, Marines, and Special Forces Soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.
Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for. They are essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have actually done something for this country beside playing with a ball and believing they’re something special! They’re not! My Marines and Soldiers were!
You are complicit in this! You’ll fine players for large and small infractions but you lack the moral courage and respect for our nation and the fallen to put an immediate stop to this. Yes, I know, it’s their 1st Amendment right to behave in such a despicable manner.
What would happen if they came out and disrespected you or the refs publicly?
I observed a player getting a personal foul for twerking in the end zone after scoring. I guess that’s much worse than disrespecting the flag and our National Anthem. Hmmmmm, isn’t it his 1st Amendment right to express himself like an idiot in the end zone?
Why is taunting not allowed yet taunting America is OK? You fine players for wearing 9-11 commemorative shoes yet you allow scum on the sidelines to sit, kneel or pump their pathetic fist in the air. They are so deprived with their multi-million dollar contracts for playing a freaking game!
You condone it all by your refusal to act. You’re just as bad and disgusting as they are. I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not.
Legends and heroes do NOT wear shoulder pads. They wear body armor and carry rifles.
They make minimum wage and spend months and years away from their families. They don’t do it for an hour on Sunday. They do it 24/7 often with lead, not footballs, coming in their direction. They watch their brothers carted off in pieces not on a gurney to get their knee iced. They don’t even have ice! Many don’t have legs or arms.
Some wear blue and risk their lives daily on the streets of America. They wear fire helmets and go upstairs into the fire rather than down to safety. On 9-11, hundreds vanished. They are the heroes.
I hope that your high paid protesting pretty boys and you look in that mirror when you shave tomorrow and see what you really are, legends in your own minds. You need to hit the road and take those worms with you!
Time to change the channel.
Powers originally sent his letter to former Florida congressman Allen West. West then posted the letter to his news website.
As of last week, at least 18 NFL player had protested the anthem by either kneeling during the anthem or raising their fists, according to USA Today Sports.
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