Retired Marine Calls Out Anthem Protesters: 'They're Spitting on the Graves of Our Fallen'
Retired U.S. Marine Col. Jeffrey Powers wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2016 slamming the league for not cracking down on players protesting during the national anthem.
"Many friends, Marines and special forces soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American flag draped over their coffins," Powers wrote. "Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for."
Following massive league-wide anthem protests before Sunday's NFL games, Powers' letter is making the rounds again.
On "Fox & Friends" this morning, Powers said he's "fed up" with players refusing the show respect to the country, flag and anthem.
"It's out of control, and they're spitting on the graves of our fallen," he said.
He said these protesting NFL players don't value the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who keep the American people safe.
"These guys don't care. It's all about them."
Brian Kilmeade pointed out that many players say they love and respect America and those who defend it, but they just want to send a message about police brutality and systemic racism in the country.
"I don't buy that at all," Powers said, adding that there are thousands and thousands of like-minded Americans who are tired of these demonstrations.
"Roger Goodell is not a leader. He's allowed this thing to permeate," he said, adding that this could come back to bite the NFL if people starting tuning out.
Watch more above, and see the full text of Powers' 2016 letter below.
I’ve been a season pass holder at Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl and Giants Stadium.
I missed the ’90-’91 season because I was with a battalion of Marines in Desert Storm. 14 of my wonderful Marines returned home with the American Flag draped across their lifeless bodies. My last conversation with one of them, Sgt Garrett Mongrella, was about how our Giants were going to the Super Bowl. He never got to see it.
Many friends, Marines, and Special Forces Soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.
Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for. They are essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have actually done something for this country beside playing with a ball and believing they’re something special! They’re not! My Marines and Soldiers were!
You are complicit in this! You’ll fine players for large and small infractions but you lack the moral courage and respect for our nation and the fallen to put an immediate stop to this. Yes, I know, it’s their 1st Amendment right to behave in such a despicable manner.
What would happen if they came out and disrespected you or the refs publicly?
I observed a player getting a personal foul for twerking in the end zone after scoring. I guess that’s much worse than disrespecting the flag and our National Anthem. Hmmmmm, isn’t it his 1st Amendment right to express himself like an idiot in the end zone?
Why is taunting not allowed yet taunting America is OK? You fine players for wearing 9-11 commemorative shoes yet you allow scum on the sidelines to sit, kneel or pump their pathetic fist in the air. They are so deprived with their multi-million dollar contracts for playing a freaking game!
You condone it all by your refusal to act. You’re just as bad and disgusting as they are. I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not.
Legends and heroes do NOT wear shoulder pads. They wear body armor and carry rifles.
They make minimum wage and spend months and years away from their families. They don’t do it for an hour on Sunday. They do it 24/7 often with lead, not footballs, coming in their direction. They watch their brothers carted off in pieces not on a gurney to get their knee iced. They don’t even have ice! Many don’t have legs or arms.
Some wear blue and risk their lives daily on the streets of America. They wear fire helmets and go upstairs into the fire rather than down to safety. On 9-11, hundreds vanished. They are the heroes.
I hope that your high paid protesting pretty boys and you look in that mirror when you shave tomorrow and see what you really are, legends in your own minds. You need to hit the road and take those worms with you!
Time to change the channel.