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.

Need a mood boost to help you sail through the weekend? Here are 10 moments that brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces this week. Enjoy!

1. How much does this sweet little boy adore his baby sister? So darn much.

Oh, to be loved with this much enthusiasm! The sheer adoration on his face. What a lucky little sister.

2. Teens raise thousands for their senior trip, then donate it to their community instead.

When it came time for Islesboro Central School's Class of 2021 to pick the destination for their senior class trip, the students began eyeing a trip to Greece or maybe even South Korea. But in the end, they decided to donate $5,000 they'd raised for the trip to help out their community members struggling in the wake of the pandemic instead.

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