Viral photo of Veteran Says a Lot About What the NFL Protests are Actually About

“We love this country. We love this flag. But we also love life and liberty for all humanity.” This is what Marvin L. Boatright told the HuffPost after a photograph of himself went viral recently.


Mr. Boatright is a 60-year-old army veteran who served in the Army’s 1st Calvalry. And when President Donald Trump’s motorcade in Indianapolis, the veteran, holding a U.S. flag in his arms, took a knee. He wanted to demonstrate his disagreement with the President over the recent NFL #TakeAKnee protests. The protests began as a means of raising awareness against systemic racism in law enforcement and the justice system.


Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images


Says Boatright, “As a veteran, and as an African-American, we have already and we continue to serve for God and country. But you can have a love of God and country and still be against social injustice. You don’t have to separate one from the other. … For the commander-in-chief to call our citizens ‘sons of a bitches’ was totally wrong and beneath the dignity of the office that he holds.”


Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images


Boatright isn’t the only veteran taking a knee. John Middlemas, a 97-year-old veteran of the Navy, also posted a picture of himself joining the protest. “Those kids have every right to protest,” he remarked.




Middlemas’s grandson posted the picture and chimed in. “Members of the military like my grandfather who risked their lives or fought for this country did not do so because of symbols like the flag or the anthem, but because of the ideas those symbols represent — like freedom of speech, and equality, and justice for all.”

And TV producer and veteran, 95-year-old Norman Lear posted a picture of himself kneeling, both during his time fighting Nazis and today in solidarity with the NFL #TakeAKnee protesters.




After his photograph went viral, Boatright said, “I would want my children to be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin; you cannot ask for anything greater,” We’ve not reached it yet, but I think we’ll get there.”



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