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Dear Mr. Kaepernick,
It has come to my attention that you have signed on with Nike to do an ad campaign for them. Mostly because my Facebook is lit up with dozens of my friends and family freaking out; making drastic changes to their gym styles and posting beautiful, heart-rending posts concerning the loved ones they have lost to war on your behalf.
For a long time now, I've watched as you have faced ridicule over your decision to take a knee during the anthem. Now, as an American, I have found that I can stay silent no longer!
I was born and raised in this incredible country. I have had family members go to war, and I have had many friends serve faithfully and fight hard against tyranny on foreign soil to ensure that our freedom remains.
I remember 9/11, and I remember the fear and the crying that I experienced as an 11-year-old boy trying to make sense of a chaotic world. I sat with veterans as they spoke of their pain and the trauma that they bore on their shoulders as a result of their choice to serve US citizens like you and me.
Sir, our beloved flag and national anthem are representations of the American values and sacrifices that we as a nation have fought for; died for. And as an American, I all I have to say to you is...well done.
Your unwillingness to budge in the face of adversity and your ability to maintain the resolve to protest peacefully for the rights of others is more than commendable. Nike wishes to use you for publicity, but the truth stands firm. There is indeed oppression and bigotry that flows through the veins and in the very heart of this great nation.
You have seen this and found the conviction to act. Therefore, you must do what you think is right, even if it costs you everything. If that isn't a core American value, then it should be.
I see you for what you are. Genuine and steadfast in your belief that all must be treated equally and America needs to change.
Just because incredible (and I do mean incredible) men and woman die for the sake of a nation, does not make the nation right or complete. Just as Nazis were willing to die for Germany and to sacrifice everything didn't make Hitler any more a saint.
I do not stand with Nike and I will not buy their stuff. But I do stand by you.
It has been said that "while there is but one slave in the world, no man is free" and so long as there is oppression, humiliation, degradation, bigotry and racism, then none of us are free from the responsibility to speak up on behalf of humanity!
Do not stop being peaceful, even when they become violent. Do not cease to voice truth, even when the beast comes to strike you. You are the example to the future generations that wrongs cannot be ignored, but change can come by the hand of peace just as well as by the sword. The country has its warriors, and history has her martyrs. I pray that history will remember you as both.
Mr. Kaepernick, you are not the first of your kind, and I fear there will be many more that will have to come before the need for martyrs has ceased. But it is indeed men and woman like you that make America great and worth fighting for. A man who dares to dream that a bright future is possible.
G.K. Chesterton once stated that for true change to be accomplished, one must both love and hate things. Hate enough to want to change something, and love it enough to believe it worth changing. When I see you willingly give your silent protest, it is those words that come to mind.
I think "there...there is a man who loves his country."
I pray for you to have wisdom and to have peace. Be safe, and may the sun rise for us on a brighter tomorrow.
Your Friend and Fellow Patriotic American