Ex-player: I support players kneeling for anthem

first_imgI have been reading about the Niskayuna students protesting during the national anthem. I attended Niskayuna High and played football in the late ‘70s. We had no such protests — professional football players standing on the sideline while the anthem was played is a relatively new development. So while these social injustices existed, no protests were visible.I have come to the painful conclusion that if such protests had happened in my time, and a teammate had kneeled, I probably would have continued to stand; 17 year-old me would not have wanted the scrutiny, and I was too naive about the world. I also realize that I would have eventually regretted my inaction.Older me has seen things. Older me has learned to listen to peoples’ stories and not dismiss them simply because I haven’t had the same experiences. It’s much easier for older me to understand that I simply am not subject to the same actions that people of color (or women) continually face. Older me has had the benefit of serving in the Navy, allowing the concept of shipmate to forge with the idea of teammate. Older me has also learned that there is not just one way to be patriotic.So older me says this to the students: I’m your teammate. Even though I’m not with you in person, I kneel with you in spirit. You are my brothers and sisters. You have every right to protest injustice, and I will have your back while you do it.Tom SwansonFalls Church, Va. (formerly of Niskayuna)More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img

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