To the editor:

As veterans, we have defended the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and continue to do so.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment religion. Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As American Legion members, one of our core objectives is to “foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism.” This right is also guaranteed, in my opinion, under the same amendment. This post will not participate with any individual, group or organization that disrespects or knowingly allows the disrespecting of our Constitution, the United States of America or the national anthem. With this in mind, the following NFL teams will not be televised in this Post:

•San Francisco 49’ers,

•Seattle Seahawks,

•Denver Broncos,

•Kansas City Chiefs or

•Miami Dolphins.

We at Post 200 will not allow our national anthem to be disrespected within our halls. We hope no more teams follow this sick practice.

Thank you for understanding.

Ron Byrley

Commander, Boonville American Legion Post 200

(1) comment

John Wells

In the matter of American Legion Post 200’s letter concerning their decision not to watch televised football games of five NFL teams, I respectfully disagree with the stated reasons. As a former citizen of Boonville (BHS Class of ’49), I went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, and the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, and serve in the U.S. Navy; and am a member of the American Legion Dept. of Maryland Post 7, Annapolis, MD. While I respect the right of my Legionnaire comrades to refrain from watching these games for their perceived reasons, I respectfully disagree with their perception. My disagreement rises from my belief that all Americans must respect the rights granted by the Constitution to exercise our First Amendment rights, and further believe that certain NFL team members following their conscience to refrain from following customary show of respect for Americanism trappings (i.e., U.S. Flag and National Anthem) they are not being disrespectful to the Constitution or to our country itself. I do not agree or condone the NFL players’ silent posturing, but I must grant them the right to do so; otherwise my own rights would suffer. By the way, I was taught this while I was a student in Boonville High School, and reinforced at the Naval Academy.
Respectfully, John Wells, 2660 Compass Drive, Annapolis MD 21401

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