Colin Kaepernick is underwater in a sea of criticism about choosing to sit out the national anthem on Friday.
One of the most popular arguments since Kaepernick’s stunt is that he doesn’t appreciate veterans. We talked to Medal of Honor recipient Florent Groberg about the controversy surrounding the quarterback’s opinion of veterans.
For some background about the Retired Army Captain, Groberg spotted a suicide bomber approaching his security detail while serving in Afghanistan. When Groberg physically pushed the man away from his detail, the suicide bomber triggered his vest that set off another previously unknown suicide bomber.
Ret. Captain Groberg told us:
“The biggest thing about this is he has an American given right to do what he wants to do. No matter what he did, I would still fight for him or anyone who has the same mindset.
Because I fight for people in our country to have an opinion and a voice. It’s another of those cases that’s how do you really want to represent yourself and how do you promote yourself.
Do I agree with not saluting the flag? Absolutely not. The flag means everything to me. It represents the millions who died and the sacrifices they made.”
The Army vet explained how Kaepernick hasn’t sacrificed for his country and that he needed to consider more than just his worldview:
“He doesn’t know that because he’s never sacrificed. Then again, I haven’t lived in his shoes. He brought up the serious issue of police brutality. But what about police officers that have been targeted as well. It goes both ways.
Do I hate him for it? Absolutely not.
I lived a completely different life than this guy. I respect the fact that he is an American and has the right to make that stance.
This is America. Everybody has an issue. But there’s another serious issue with police being targeted. He’s going to get criticism for voicing his opinion. That’s what we get living in a country with freedom of speech.”
But Groberg wants to know if Kaepernick can back up his big talk:
“What he is doing to fix the issue? Now he’s out there and he’s going to sit the National Anthem out. He put himself on the front-line. I’m waiting to see what his actions are next to help fix the issue.
You want everyone to speak about it and use the national stage, that’s great. But now he’s the face of a movement that everyone is talking about. Is it just talking or he is going to walk the walk. I hope he walks the walk.
I vote that he takes the time to sit down with police officers too. Because there has been terrible incidents that happened by individuals, but there are so many incredible police officers out there. If we want to fix things, we have to work together.”
Groberg addressed the claim that Kaepernick hates veterans:
“What Kaepernick said affected the veteran community. He affected Gold Star families who live every day with knowing that they’ve lost their loved one.
But I don’t think it was Kaepernick’s intention to say he didn’t support the troops. And that’s what a lot of people are reporting.
A friend of mine, Nate Boyer, an ex-Green beret and guy who played with the pre-season was given a football by Kaepernick at a charity event that he signed. I know for a fact that he supports the troops.”
The war veteran summarized how he felt about the issues raised by the professional quarterback, and it comes from a man who put his life on the line to defend the nation whose anthem Kaepernick refused to stand for.
“Regardless of what he did, I’ll always stand by the flag and be there for America, it’s the greatest country in the world. And we fight for people to have the right to have the freedom to say what they want.”
Source: independent journal
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