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Letter: Protests protected under the First Amendment

To the editor,

As a news junkie, I find myself glued to a variety of 24/7 news shows.

Lately, the number one story involves the act of athletes kneeling during the national anthem in protest of social and racial injustice. Their behavior, agree or not, falls under the protection of our First Amendment, which is exactly the beauty of it.

For example, it offends me when UND sports fans disrespect our national anthem by shouting over its last word. Nevertheless, it is their right to do so. I believe displaying the Confederate flag, in any form, disrespects our American flag. I also believe in a person's right to do so.

The level of hostility expressed toward the players was uncalled for; so was the comment by President Trump to NFL owners demanding they fire players who do not stand during the Anthem.

Seriously? These players were peacefully exercising their first amendment right. Ironically, kneeling, defined by dictionary.com is "an expression of reverence and submission."

(Disclosure: Watching Washington players kneeling in support of this protest while wearing jerseys that say "Redskins" on the front is difficult).

It is curious that many people, including our president, spoke out against this peaceful protest and actually supported limiting some First Amendment protections. Yet, heaven forbid, anyone ever suggest limiting protections under the Second Amendment, even after such violent situations like the one in Las Vegas, where one man ambushed an innocent crowd of people using several guns killing 59 and injuring over 500.

Sue Thompson

East Grand Forks

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