The NFL started standing for the flag in 2009 after the U.S. Department of Defense paid more than $15 million to have it do so.

So, no, it's not a tradition. It's paid propaganda like flag ceremonies and guards standing on the field in order to recruit more young people to fight endless wars to keep the military industrial complex running strong with 12 times the budget as Russians spend every year.

I honor our soldiers but it's every American's First Amendment right to speak out against social injustice. That's what soldiers fight for — a free country.

That's why we let a racist like David Duke speak at colleges, which I think is outrageous — but he also has First Amendment rights.

So, when the president tweets about the NFL when Puerto Rico is under water and he pushes for his disastrous policies and people become divided, who really wins? It's just a distraction from the real problems we face. You may not like it, but things get worse before they get better usually. More pain to come.

Mark Randall, Sparta

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