Yesterday was the 15-year anniversary of that horrific day on September 11, 2001 when Muslim terrorists killed 3,000 Americans using commercial airplanes as their weapon. The iconic Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were brought down in this heinous act. In that moment, and for some time after, people across America banded together as Americans, regardless of their race, religion, gender, political beliefs or history. That attack on our soil was on the American way of life and our ideals. We stood together to show the terorrists that we as a nation would not be broken.
Fast forward to the opening Sunday of the NFL season 15 years after that attack. The Seattle Seahawks announced the day before the game that they would be standing together, joined arm in arm in a display of unity during the National Anthem. Their opponents, the Miami Dolphins, held a players-only meeting prior to the game and announced that it was every man for himself.
While the National Anthem played, four players, including star running back Arian Foster, from the Miami Dolphins took a knee in protest of “racial inequality”. The actions of these four players and others throughout the league who chose to protest America, the very country that has blessed them with the opportunity to make, in most of their cases, millions, during the National Anthem by kneeling, sitting, or having fists raised as if they were a Black Panther from the 1960s.
There are two Miami Dolphins players, however, whose actions caught my attention during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and they are getting no press or props.
As the anthem played, members of the military were holding a large flag that covered the field. Two Miami Dolphins players stepped forward between members of the military and helped hold the American flag alongside them.
Defensive tackle, #90, Earl Mitchell, a seven-year veteran in the NFL, and defensive end,#73, rookie Julius Warmsley can both be seen in between members of the military holding the flag and helping to make it wave.
Neither player has said anything about their decision to honor the flag and our country by holding it side by side with the military, at least not that I have surmised so far. Given the fact that both players are black and could have opened themselves up to attacks by radicals who believe insulting the flag and the men and women who have died to protect it is a good thing, I could not let their actions go without praise.
The nation is now more divided that I can recall in all my time walking this earth. After eight years of Obama using the office of the presidency to push his community agitator agenda, the country has witnessed divisiveness along numerous lines, including racial. The rise of the Black Lives Matter anarchist movement, with the blessing of Obama and the Democrat Party furthered that divide.
Colin Kaepernick, the biracial benchwarming backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who was raised in an affluent neighborhood by his adoptive white parents, started the trend for NFL players to show disrespect to the American flag during the National Anthem. I applaud both Warmsley and Mitchell for not following that lead, instead demonstrating respect for a country that, while not perfect, has afforded them great opportunities based upon their hard work and, for that, they show appreciation.
Watch the full National Anthem and the Seattle Seahawks demonstration of unity below. You can also see Mitchell and Warmsley pay respect to the flag and America at approximately the 1:07 mark.