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This Seahawks fan and wounded Vietnam veteran stands firmly with Leonard Pitts Jr. and his column, “How dare NFL players protest?”

His sarcastic words celebrate our sacred right and duty to “call out wrong.” His phrase “How dare they not put their hands to their hearts?,” imagining “aggrievements” patriotic fans and others might feel it necessary to mutter, reminded me that I stopped doing so upon returning to U.S. soil, after witnessing our colossal blunder that killed so many on both sides. I love the land where I was born and have lived in for 70 years. I do stand silently and respectfully during the pledge. But I will not touch my heart until we begin to responsibly defend the lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all.

I am not anti-military but anti-war. I am not anti-white but against the privileged whites among us who continue to whine about the demand for equal treatment in our country for African-Americans and all people of color. Beyond kneeling during a ritual that purports to celebrate true freedom, when enough black pros and their white allies choose to stop play altogether, our distracted country will pay attention.

Dale Rector, Seattle

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