Several months ago, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused quite the bit of controversy when he refused to stand during the National Anthem and instead took a knee in a peaceful show of protest for the racially-fueled police brutality that continues to wreak havoc throughout the United States.
Kaepernick’s protest started a movement and became a powerful symbol of Black Lives Matter, however many others did not appreciate the gesture. Earlier today, Kaepernick was one again targeted for his show of protest, this time by a US Navy Admiral.
During a 90-minute ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, US Pacific Command commander Adm. Harry Harris threw in a jab at Kaepernick and all those who have followed in his footsteps toward the end of his speech. Admiral Harris said:
“You can bet that the men and women we honor today — and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our National Anthem being played.”
Even though the Admiral hadn’t singled Kaepernick out or mentioned his name specifically, it was crystal clear who he was referring to. That statement won Harris a standing ovation from the crowd of servicemen and women. Later, he added:
“Today we have an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a patriot, to reflect on what it means to be a nation tested by war and to reflect on both of the costs and blessings of liberty.”
“Hearing the words, ‘the land of the free and home of the brave’ means something special for every American, every day. But today, on Dec. 7, it takes on extraordinary significance.”
You can watch the Admiral deliver his remarks below:
Regardless of whether or not you agree with Kaepernick’s protest or Admiral Harris’ criticism, we are lucky to live in a country that allows us the freedom to express ourselves.
Featured image via screenshot and Joe Robbins / Getty Images