2017 Letters to the editor stock

A number of professional and amateur sports players have decided to make a statement during the playing of the national anthem. They are protesting social injustice and the disrespect directed toward them by President Donald Trump.

Regardless of one’s reaction to these actions or the time/place where they take place, we must honor their right to protest.

The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech..."

Accordingly, their actions must be protected. Failure to recognize the symbolism, tradition, dedication and sacrifices made by many men and woman in the armed forces and our police/fire departments is truly a form of disrespect during the playing of the national anthem.

I respect their right but not them. Respect is only a right when it is earned.

Bob Wilhelm, Valparaiso

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Marc is a veteran investigative reporter and editor of more than 15 years, including 10 years at The Times, where he is the investigative editor. He is also the founder of the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project.