The man who is credited for motivating NFL player Colin Kaepernick to take a knee during the National Anthem said it was time to clear up a few things.
A funny thing happens when a big controversy like the “Take a Knee” campaign comes up. Immediately, people look for someone who is apparently on the “wrong” side of the debate to hold up to make their point.
That has happened a good bit with people who support NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s protest of social injustice. They’ve been only too happy to point to the former Green Beret who supposedly motivated the act. In doing so, they seek to refute the fact that Kaepernick is disrespecting the military, a popular accusation among those who don’t appreciate the protests he and other players have been participating in.
But that former serviceman told the Los Angeles Times that it was time to clear things up. He also says both sides are getting things wrong in their fight.
You may recall that Nate Boyer wrote an open letter to Kaepernick about the protests back in 2016. In that letter, he said this:
“I’m not judging you for standing up for what you believe in. It’s your inalienable right. What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes. I’ve never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you’ve gone through is as ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it’s like to go to war.”
It was that letter that led to the two men meeting.
At the time Kaepernick was protesting while remaining seated. It was Boyer, as the story goes, who suggested that might might look like Kaepernick just didn’t care. He suggested Kaepernick kneel alongside his teammates rather that sitting on a bench.
So, the next game, Kaepernick knelt while Boyer stood next to him with hand on heart.
Those who are against Kaepernick’s actions like to claim it disrespects the flag and our veterans. Those who support Kaepernick’s actions are quick to point out that it was a veteran who suggested the protest.
It’s a fairly strong game of talking points that never goes anywhere.
Boyer seems fed up with both sides trying to use veterans to win the argument.
To liberals, Boyer is quick to point out that he didn’t suggest the protest itself. He merely suggested a better way for Kaepernick to express his opinion if he intended to protest.
“What I did was meet with him, make suggestions on different ways to do it after he was already protesting,” Boyer said.
To conservatives, Boyer seems aggravated that they’re trying to lump all veterans together:
“[Conservatives say] ‘You’re offending every veteran.’ That’s also ridiculous.”
You can read the full quotes in the article here. It might give you an interesting — and certainly better — view of the controversy.
Perhaps it can also stand as a reminder of how we need to craft our arguments, especially when we begin to attempt to speak for others.