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In most matters, I tend to lean to the left. But there are a few exceptions to that rule. One of them is in showing respect for our national anthem and flag and what they stand for.

When I see a pampered and overpaid athlete taking a knee on the field during our anthem, I cringe. I get the freedom of speech and expression thing and, to a degree, I certainly respect that.

But the noble principles of our flag and anthem are (or should be) universally respected. When an athlete takes a knee, he/she is protesting the very thing that offers them the right to take that knee.

I challenge athletes who take the knee to spend their time and passions playing their sport better and perhaps devoting some quality time to public service.

I have had the privilege of singing the national anthem for local road races and other local events for the past 24 years. I still get nervous because I respect what it represents. It is always an honor to do it and to try to do my best.

Our anthem should be sung the way it was written. The only thing I would do if I could (and I can't) would be to go up an octave on the high note like Whitney Houston did.

Recently I saw an American flag on one side and a Confederate flag on its other side. This I found to be extremely offensive.

Please try to respect our flag and anthem and, even more importantly, what they stand for.

Rick Sundin Jr.,

Davenport

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