By: Evan Jankens
Ameer Abdullah was one of the eight members of the Detroit Lions who decided to kneel during the National Anthem when the Lions hosted the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field two Sundays ago.
Since then the Lions RB has been getting some interesting letters from fans of the team.
Abdullah took to his Instagram story to share a few of those letters with his fans. The first fan said he would stop going to games and rather than sell the tickets, just leave the seat open and even said the players “figuratively spit on our country and our flag.”
The first one was addressed to “Mrs. Ford and the Detroit Lions”:
I was deeply disappointed in your decision to allow your players to take a knee and demonstrate their disrespect for our flag, our national anthem and our country. It was a slap in the face to me as a life-long Lions fan, as a season ticket holder, as a military veteran and as an American citizen.
Dress it up however you may as a protest against injustice or whatever, it was a protest conducted when the flag was presented and when the anthem was played. That makes it a protest against our country. That is intolerable.
If this happens again, I will not attend or watch any more Lions games. I will not sell my tickets for the rest of the year. I’d rather the seats sit empty. Then I will not renew for next year. Based on the comments in my sections at the game, I will not be alone in taking this action.
What kid of organizations tolerates its employees deliberately alienating customers? Why didn’t Coach Caldwell, who is a good coach and appears to be a decent human being, exercise some leadership and mentorship with these young men so they would protest at a time and place that would be constructive instead of insulting, hateful, disrespectful and divisive.
Lenny Rusher, the Army officer who was honored as the “hometown Hero” at the game, used to work for me and we talked the Monday after the game. Lenny is a black man who came up from Detroit, suffered from discrimination and prejudice, but rose through the military ranks by force of hard work, strong character, perseverance and focus on the mission to successfully command a battalion of troops in a combat zone and attain the rank of Lieytenant Colonel.
Lenny never made the money your protesting players make, but nobody worked harder or was as committed to the mission and doing the right thing. Like me, Lenny was disappointed and saddened as your players figuratively spit on our country and our flag. We all understand Constitutional rights, but what we will never understand is how people can protest the very flag under which they were give then opportunities that made them privileged, rich celebrities.
Again, I am disappointed , but hope to see the Detroit Lions recover and go forward without a repeat of this division disrespect for our country and its flag.
Colonel, U.S. Army
P.S. Please do not insult me or other fans with a form letter about the Constitutional right of the players to protest. The issue is not whether they can, but whether they should.
The second letter which was addressed to Abdullah:
Dear Ameer Abdullah:
I am deeply offended by the lack of respect you demonstrated to the National Anthem.
I am deeply offended by the lack of respect you demonstrated to the Flag.
You don’t respect the Anthem and Flag of the Country that has given you so much.
Clearly, you don’t respect anythiung.
People who follow you are foolish, because sooner or later, you’ll turn on them too.
I worked in urban ERs for 30 years, and got paid a fraction of what you make.
I hate that.
Ever day, I risked getting maimed, or infected, or sued.
I helped thousands of people who could never pay me dime.
Me, and people like me, are the ones who deserve respect, not you.
Me, and people like me, are the ones who should be getting paid big bucks, not you.
I played football in high school, and there was a time when I enjoyed watching football.
But no mas.
You, and people like you, have ruined it for me.
I would assume these letters have been coming to every NFL player who took a knee and every single NFL team.
Do you think it Abdullah did the right thing sharing these letters on his Instagram account?