Meghan Linsey has received a lot of attention in the wake of kneeling while singing the National Anthem before an NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks.
Some have applauded her action, others have have respectfully disagreed with the symbolic gesture. But a third group has gone far beyond what is acceptable. In a recent article Linsey wrote for the Washington Post, Linsey revealed that she has received death threats.
In the article, Linsey takes time to talk about why she knelt during the anthem. She has both seen and heard racism her whole life and even recently towards members of her band.
“A lot of people are calling my peaceful protest ‘un-American’,” she wrote, “but that could not be farther from the truth. I love this country and the men and women who serve and die to protect our freedoms. Part of that freedom is being able to speak out when things are not right.”
The real problem, as I see it, is the violent anger that has been turned towards Linsey.
“In the past few days, I have received death threats and had cancer wished upon me by the same people who claim to be great patriots. I’ve had people say that they should have executed me on the field. People are threatening my life because the idea that someone who looks like me would act against racism upsets them so much. I can’t think of anything more un-American than threatening someone for an act of free speech.”
The only time I can think of a field being the home of an execution is when the Taliban used an Afgan soccer pitch for public beheadings.
Whether you agree with her or not, you should at least hear her out before criticizing her. Too often we talk around one another, missing the reason why each side is angry. But if we listen, we might just be able to start a conversation.