From prominent athletes across several sports to other celebrities and even presidential candidate Donald Trump, seemingly everyone with a platform has used it in recent days to share their opinion of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem.
One of the most interesting reactions came Tuesday from Nate Boyer, the former Army Green Beret who had a tryout last offseason as a long-snapper with the Seahawks. Boyer wrote an open letter to Kaepernick in the Military Times. The underlying message from Boyer was about understanding where others are coming from, listening and keeping an open mind.
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.
Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I’m trying to listen to what you’re saying and why you’re doing it.
Boyer’s letter is worth reading in its entirety.