I don’t get the mindset of conservatives. They say things like they want small government and want government out of people’s lives and yet they want to dictate their beliefs to people with whom they disagree.
If America is about liberty, then one expressing that liberty by protesting is in fact a high form of patriotism.
Second, people need to understand that public displays of patriotism, which is what standing during a national anthem is, is done by non-democratic countries too. Such displays are not uniquely American. See above for what is uniquely American.
Finally, in my upbringing kneeling is a sign of reverence. One can make the argument that kneeling is even a higher display of respect than standing. If Colin and the other NFL players did something like turn their back, or lie down, or start break dancing THAT would be disrespectful.
Worse, what is most disrespectful to veterans is not voting. Actively working to prevent citizens from voting. Not challenging the President when he sends our military in to conflict. And not demanding that Congress uphold its constitutional responsibility to declare war. Wouldn’t making sure every vet gets the physical and mental health care they need be a true sign of respect? What is more respectful, actually caring about active military and veterans or puttinng on appearances of respect?
P.S. Go to any sporting event and you will find people walking, talking, and otherwise not paying attention during the national anthem.