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Colin Kaepernick's choice of the gesture of taking a knee must have been instinctual.

This position has never implied disrespect, just the opposite. It's always shown you are prepared to serve a cause or person; It is a sign of fealty, an old-fashioned word for loyalty and faithfulness. Colin's fight against racial injustice is most fitting, especially on the playing field. American history and justice have collided there many times. Examples are what happened concerning Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, and Mohamed Ali. We are watching a regeneration of a movement started long ago.

My aspiration has always been to speak out about abuse of power, to defy it, and to fight it. Sometimes that can be done by humbly taking a knee. A president like Trump will probably never understand this concept. He would rather be feared than respected. You have to wonder what country he thinks he is running, because Americans have been showing him in the streets since his inauguration. He lost the popular vote by over three million, and at this stage we only have a part of his election story. By his approval rating, it's easy to see that the majority neither respect or fear him.

What I love most about the USA is we individually decide what is sacred to us. As a soldier in Germany in 1985, I had a sentimental moment with our flag. It was end of day, I was alone in my MP vehicle on the street of the compound where we worked and lived. There was a beautiful sunset, just the soldiers doing the honors and me, I exited my vehicle to follow protocol, then I had the privilege to salute. Being far from home, it was simply sweet to me.

This country and flag are not the country and flag we started with, and what a great thing that is. Loving your nation should not make you blind to what needs to change. I'm not a football fan, and the NFL has never made me teary-eyed before, but I am most certainly having a moment with them, Colin, and people playing sports across America. When it comes to discrimination, we have work to do. Taking a knee to point that out is a peaceful, humble protest, and in Colin's case, a brave thing to do.

Janice Williams

North Bend