I offer another perspective on the issue of kneeling during the singing of the national anthem. Kneeling is not an act of disrespect. It is an act of supplication. It is a gesture of humble entreaty.

But the focus here should not be on this non-conforming act. Instead, it needs to be on President Donald Trump’s failure as a leader in handling that type of “protest.” His knee-jerk reaction was to condemn those who kneel rather than address that humble plea for help in addressing the issue of racial discrimination. His punitive remarks only provided more discord in the country.

How different the outcome could have been if the president had acknowledged the suffering created by discrimination and entreated everyone to join hands in solidarity against racism.

Some may say that a football stadium is not the place to deal with such a sensitive subject, but it is the perfect place because so many young people are watching. In some ways, football is a metaphor for life — people working hard, following rules, dealing with competition and failure and enjoying the sweetness of success. A true leader would help citizens to make a “pledge” to never vent their fear and hate onto other people. Then all Americans can stand together in unity to honor the flag as a symbol of freedom and justice for all.

The question now is how do we deal with a lack of good leadership? And shouldn’t there be consequences for poor leadership?

Linda DeSantis, Auburn

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