People said Colin Kaepernick disrespected veterans. Veterans are defending him.

Since electing to protest police brutality by sitting down during a pre-game performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner," San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has faced accusations of showing disrespect to America's veterans.

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees told ESPN that Kaepernick's protest bothered him "all day long," citing the sacrifices made by the service members in his family.  


CBS commentator Boomer Esiason was even more explicit:

"I find it completely disrespectful, not only to the military, but to the men and women who wear the blue uniform and protect our cities every —— day," the former Jets quarterback said at a network event, according to a Newsday report.

But it turns out there are a lot of actual veterans who not only don't feel disrespected but are really into what Kaepernick did.  

Using the Twitter hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick, many former soldiers, sailors, and Marines voiced support for Kaepernick's protest and welcomed the conversation it started.

Many chafed at the notion of being used as a political prop.

Others expressed their solidarity with the quarterback.

Still others noted that defending Kaepernick's right to speak his mind is part of the job.

Veterans, like any other group, don't all think the same thing at the same time.

Some service members and their families, like Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who expressed disappointment with Kaepernick, or Gold Star mother Teri Johnson, whose critical open letter to the quarterback went viral, believe that regardless of intent, the flag is sacred and deserves to be honored all times.

Others believe that the importance of drawing attention to racial injustices in policing justifies taking a breather from the national anthem every now and again.

The best part? This is America, man.

And in America, we all get to have our own opinion.

Thanks in large part to, you know, veterans.

Veterans. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

They deserve our respect.

But we should probably listen first.

More
Instagram / Jameela Jamil

Being a celebrity must suck, because you can't talk about personal decisions without everyone feeling they need to have their say. However, some celebrities just don't care what the haters think and are going to live their lives how they see fit. Nobody does it better than actress and activist Jameela Jamil.

Earlier this year, Jamil revealed she had an abortion seven years ago. "I had an abortion when I was young, and it was the best decision I have ever made. Both for me, and for the baby I didn't want, and wasn't ready for, emotionally, psychologically and financially. So many children will end up in foster homes. So many lives ruined. So very cruel," she wrote on Twitter. Jamil decided to reveal her abortion after Georgia's controversial fetal heartbeat abortion law was passed.

RELATED: Jameela Jamil wants women to stop apologizing for 'being ambitious'

Now, Jamil says she's living her best life, because her decision was not a "mistake" – even if other people see it that way.

"Receiving THOUSANDS of messages about how I made a mistake having an abortion 7 years ago and how I must be a miserable person. I am in fact a happy, thriving multi millionaire, madly in love, with free time, good sleep and a wonderful career and life. But thanks for checking," the "Good Place" actress wrote on Twitter.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via @ResistMoveTRM / Twitter

The number of people dying from drug overdoses in the U.S. is staggering. In 2017, 70,237 people died from drug overdoses, 47,600 of those were from opioids.

According to the CDC, that number has increased over five times since 1999. Since 2011, an alarming number of opioid deaths have been caused by fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid.

Keep Reading Show less
Family

Image by Brent Connelly from Pixabay and sixthformpoet / Twitter

Twitter user Matt, who goes by the name @SixthFormPoet, shared a dark love story on Twitter that's been read by nearly 600,000 people. It starts in a graveyard and feels like it could be the premise for a Tim Burton film.

While it's hard to verify whether the story is true, Matt insists that it's real, so we'll believe him.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture