Another American has joined the protest started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but unlike most protesters she’s not a civilian. While it is perfectly legal for a football player to exercise his 1st amendment rights, and face whatever consequences may come from his actions, servicemen and women do not have the same level of freedom. An unidentified sailor at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida chose to film herself sitting through flag call and posted the video to Facebook.
In the video she says
I’m looking around because Lord Jesus I don’t feel like getting into an argument with nobody this morning, Jesus be with me! Colors is about to go off, and I am sitting down… My heart is racing. This is not an easy thing. And hopefully don’t nobody come over here. I’m really scared y’all, like I’m really scared, I’m not going to lie.”
Many viewers flooded the comment section of the video and criticized her narration, quoted above. Johney Stevens writes, “You are a coward. If you want to take a stand then do so and accept the consequences of your actions. You are whats wrong with this county.”
Randall Smith writes, “If you feel your cause is just and worth all of this effort then why are you so worried about the consequences!!! Seems to me like you are just doing this for attention.”
Her video was shared on the US ARmy Military Police WTF moments Facebook page with the following message,
In case you needed something to get your blood boiling today, here you go. God help me if I ever saw this on post, or anywhere being done by a military member. It’s one thing to exercise your rights and sit down during the anthem at a game, but as a service member on an installation? GFYS… Share and make her famous, maybe her CoC will see and fix this issue. 3:00 is where it starts.”
After her protest she says makes the following statement while walking away. “People always want to say, you know, ‘men and women have died for this flag.’ No, correction, men and women have died for my right and Colin Kaepernick’s right, to determine whether or not we want to stand or sit and that’s the thing people really don’t understand…” The problem with her argument is that as a sailor, she does not have the same rights as Colin Kaepernick or any other civilian choosing to sit through the national anthem. Her actions are in direct violation of United States Navy regulations Chapter 12, Section 2. Honors to National Anthems and National Ensigns.
According to Military.com Daily News, Lt. Cmdr. Kate Meadows, speaking on behalf of the Naval Education and Training Command, said that “actions were ongoing regarding the sailor” but did not elaborate on what those specific actions entailed. She continued to say “We are always doing training to make sure that sailors know the pros and cons of using social media, and they must always observe appropriate conduct, and they’re always subject to the UCMJ at all times. We’ll make sure that’s reiterated to our sailors. Anything you post on social media can go viral.”