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I do have a selfish reason for saying all this. I’ve already had four conversations about this subject with some of One guy is so mad about this he claims that he is never going to watch a pro football game again. He thinks it is a national disgrace. I had to listen to this rant for a little while before he told me that he hasn’t watched a professional football game in three years. He still thinks the guy should have been willing to stand during the anthem. Other friends remind me that it is every citizen’s right to express their opinion. I understand that too. I just don’t want to hear it. The first amendment is important to me. I couldn’t write this column without the first amendment. There are just other things I want to think about. With every thing else that is going on in the world, he could have merely put his hand over his heart and stood by a teammate and everything would be hunky dory. Being quiet has lots of benefits. I’m an old guy and I don’t want to be drawn into a pro life or pro-choice debate. Should we execute people that step on a flag or just give them life in prison? How about letting people out of prison for drug offenses since we have legalized marijuana laws in some states? There are lots of things that are right and wrong. We should stand for the anthem if able but it is perfectly alright if we do not. In a stadium with seventy thousand people does it make any difference if one person does not stand? I went to a college football game with over ninety thousand people in attendance. Our team was at the other end of the stadium trying to score a touchdown. Everyone was yelling except me. A guy turned to me and said, “Make some noise.” I wondered if the team could hear me way over here. Do you think our quarterback could hear me over the other fans? I told him I was trying to pace myself for the fourth quarter. Football players might just remember that for six months they could be quiet and be judged by their football playing skills. In retirement they could run for political office and say whatever they wanted.