Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall is one of several NFL players who have refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in the United States. Unlike some of the other players, his decision came with an immediate consequence.
When Stephen Martin, the owner of Prime Time Sports in Colorado Springs, Colorado, heard about Marshall’s protest, he immediately canceled the football star’s scheduled appearance and autograph signing at his store.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Martin explained his decision and suggested a different kind of event to replace the autograph signing.
The post reads in part:
I respect Brandon Marshall’s freedom of expression, but I question his method of delivery. I agree that his concerns need to be addressed, but not at the expense of our flag and what it represents.
There have been times in the last week where I have gone AWOL to my heart by my silence, but now I have been awakened by the memory of my wife’s father Kenneth J Porwoll who survived the Bataan Death March.
He was thrown into the hull of a cargo ship called the Taga Maru where he was sandwiched with hundreds of other soldiers without room to even lie down while being hauled to Japan where he was a POW for 3 1/2 years. He was saturated in human sweat, urine and fecal matter for weeks in plus 100 degree heat without food, water or medical care and to this store owner that story is a better use of the word “deplorable”.
I was at this man’s funeral. I saw the American Flag draped over his coffin. I was there when that folded American Flag was handed to his wife, Mary Ellen Porwoll. I heard that 21 gun salute.
This store owner believes that the simple act of standing during our national anthem is a noble and responsible gesture that salutes our nation and the military that protects it. Now I want to stand up and hear the voice of the American Flag and I need your help.
I am asking for photos of your loved ones that are veterans, in active service, who have been injured in the line of duty or who have paid the ultimate price. I will post these photos on my store front windows under the banner, “These people have sacrificed for the ideas represented by our flag. We honor them”.
It didn’t take long for people from all over the country to send in photos and stories of some of America’s bravest military heroes.
Martin’s store windows are now completely covered with veterans.
A sign posted in the middle of the window proudly reads:
“This space is reserved for these people who have sacrificed for our flag and what it represents: WE HONOR THEM.”
On Sunday, Martin posted on Facebook that 176 photos had been put up after five days of the “Honor the Flag” event.
“Our voice, the voice of the active, the injured and the fallen is being heard. Thank You America,” he wrote.