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Wednesday Letters: Rage and praise for a protesting quarterback

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not stood for the National Anthem this preseason out of protest. (AP)

It is a disgrace when one does not stand up while The Star Spangle Banner is being played or sung. If you do not recognize the flag or the song, you don’t belong in the United States of America. Many men and women, black and white, gave up their lives for you. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick should be thankful and stand up when The Star Spangle Banner is being sung or played. Even the old and the disabled will acknowledge the national anthem by standing, some holding their hand across their heart, taking off their caps or saluting.

Margaret Seiders-Metz, Burbank

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The NFL’s failure to require San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to stand and pay homage to our national anthem is an affront to all who have served and died for this country. Yet the NFL can require players not to wear certain clothes or shoes that show a logo of a supplier not endorsed by the NFL. The military should stop providing honor guards and flyovers before games. Kaepernick’s comments were an insult to law enforcement, the military and patriotic fans.

John Culloton, Norwood Park

My father fought in WWII and I am a Vietnam veteran. I have sung the national anthem many times. I love my country and feel I have a right to say the following: I am not proud of this country at this time in our history. I feel that I am not represented by my government, and we are involved in way too much bloodshed for invalid and greed-driven reasons. People are dying in the streets from gun violence and hunger, yet we allocate so much of our fiscal budget to defense and unwarranted aggression. The American people have to wake up and realize that we are no longer the John Wayne country that commands respect and admiration around the world. Instead, we are in the midst of the dirtiest, most childish and unrepresentative election process I have ever witnessed. People in this country value football more than the image we project to the rest of the world.

It took a lot of courage for Colin Kaepernick to do what he did, and I salute him for using his celebrity to voice his beliefs and frustrations with this country’s leaders. There is no one more patriotic than I am, and I long to feel the pride I used to feel when my dad saluted the flag as it passed at parades. God help America take a good look at the truth and show our kids our true colors!

Ken Karlson, Wheaton