As a combat veteran of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, I am truly disappointed to see ungrateful athletes and entertainers disrespect our flag, anthem and country. I stood shoulder to shoulder with other soldiers who were black, Asian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim who proudly performed their duty overseas under “The Star Spangled Banner.” The flag and anthem are not racist, and they should not be used for protest.
Our society places too high of an emphasis on those who, often through a series of fortunate circumstances, are given a stage to perform for us. They may have talent, but they are not our true “heroes.” I defend and respect the freedom of speech for individuals, but when a player is in team uniform, they are representing our town.
The grave disrespect displayed to our American flag and anthem on foreign soil was beyond appalling and will not be forgotten. This marred an otherwise great on-field performance. As a charter Jaguar season ticket holder, I was ashamed and insulted.
From now on, I will no longer wear any NFL or team apparel, and I invite others to do the same. If I decide to attend another game, I will not be wearing teal. I will wear red, white and blue to honor those who are the real heroes in our country. The only real hero I saw this weekend was Pittsburgh Steeler and fellow veteran Alejandro Villanueva who stood to honor our flag and country. God Bless America!
Ronald “Doc” Renuart, COL (USA-ret)
Ponte Vedra Beach