The First Amendment explicitly protects freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest police violence against minorities and the system that protects police officers from the consequences of their actions is a right guaranteed to all Americans by our Constitution. It is not disrespectful to question your government when you believe that it is unjust in the way it treats people. It a patriotic duty for us to speak out.
The attempts to sully peaceful protest by accusing them of dishonoring those who gave their lives serving in the military is distasteful and completely misunderstands the reason they sacrifice themselves for our country. Our service men and women sacrifice so that you can protest or not protest. That is what freedom is all about. They don’t fight for a flag. They fight for the ideals that the flag represents. The First Amendment is fundamental to our democracy and we must protect it. Otherwise, we will lose it.