As the controversy continues to swirl around San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick over his refusal to stand for the National Anthem, many people have written open letters to the athlete.
None more poignant than the one written by a retired police officer.
You see, retired officer Chris Amos has “buried” 10 friends — seven killed in the line of duty and three who committed suicide. He also shot and killed a 19-year-old black man in the line of duty, as well. Got it?
The retired officer posted an open letter to Kaepernick on his Facebook page Monday:
It reads, in part:
“I’ve read your statement a few times and want you to know I am one of the reasons you are protesting. You see I am a retired police officer that had the misfortune of having to shoot and kill a 19-year-old African American male. And just like you said, I was the recipient of about $3,000 a month while on leave which was a good thing because I had to support a wife and three children under 7-years-old for about 2 months with that money. Things were pretty tight because I couldn’t work part time. Every police officer I’ve ever known has worked part-time to help make ends meet.
You know Colin the more I think about it the more we seem to have in common …. We both also know what it’s like to get blindsided. You by a 280- pound defensive end, ouch! Me, by a couple of rounds fired from a gun about 2 feet away, into my chest and thigh. We also both make our living wearing uniforms, right? You have probably ruined a jersey or two on the field of play. I still have my blood stained shirt that my partner and paramedics literally ripped off my back that cold night in January…. We also have both experienced the hate and disgust others have just because of those uniforms we wear. I sure am glad for your sake that the folks who wear my uniform are on hand to escort you and those folks that wear your uniform into stadiums in places like Seattle!
Colin I have buried 7 friends, killed in the line of duty and three others who have committed suicide. I have attended more funerals than I care to remember of neighboring departments who have lost officers in the line of duty, during my career. Law Enforcement Officers with different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences united by their willingness to answer the call to protect and serve their fellow citizens.
Colin I am sorry for the endorsement deals you may lose and the dip in jersey sales, but please know you will NEVER lose what these men and women and their families have lost. And so whether you stand or sit during the National Anthem or not means very little to me…. We will continue to protect and continue to serve and we will be standing at attention Colin, not just for the playing of our National Anthem, but far more importantly for the playing of Taps.”
The Massachusetts Coalition of Police also posted the retired officer’s letter, thanking him for “making such a clear statement”:
Kaepernick says he will continue to sit during the playing of the National Anthem — and “stand with the people who are being oppressed” — until “there’s significant change.”
Meanwhile, as retired officer Chris Amos so poignantly said, America’s police officers will continue to serve, and not only stand for the National Anthem, but for the playing of “Taps,” as well.