On July 14, Norman Smith responded to my letter of July 11 by disagreeing with my observation that standing while the Star Spangled Banner is being played is obligated and that kneeling is disrespectful. He indicated that that was a 1940-era concept and, in 2020, standing was only a tradition and not an obligation.

Smith should try telling that to those who bravely served their country.

My letter’s reference was to Colin Kapernick, a professional football player who made a racial protest by kneeling on one knee during the National Anthem and was successful in recruiting a few others to join him. Most people felt that was disgraceful. He subsequently warmed the bench permanently, as best I know.

I described the physical qualities that led to athletic success. Smith said those qualities (the right musculo-skeletal and neurological makeup) were Black athletes’ “buzz words.” If that is true, then what about Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers and Julian Edelman, among others.

My point was that people should not disrespect the country which allowed them to have the opportunity to succeed to the best of their ability. Millions have sacrificed for this country so that Kapernick could have the freedom to try, fail and then show disrespect after his opportunity.

Smith inserted an unrelated criticism of President Trump in his letter which clearly has not recognized all of Trump’s achievements.

Thomas Shields, Auburn

Comments are not available on this story.