I am writing in response to your Sept. 2 editorial concerning San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem.

Let me start by telling a story about another black American sports hero by the name of Joe Louis, world champion boxer in the 1930s and ’40s.

Many prominent African Americans openly questioned whether African Americans should serve against the Axis powers in the segregated armed forces during World War II.

Joe Louis disagreed, saying, “There are a lot of things wrong in America, but Hitler ain’t gonna fix them.” He donated two of his winning purses to the Army and Navy Relief Societies. He joined the Army and did morale tours for the troops that cost him several years of boxing in his prime.

As a soldier, he frequently visited segregated black troops and openly protested their living conditions to the secretary of war.

Contrast Joe Louis’ behavior with that of our generation’s Colin Kaepernick. The editorial praises Kaepernick’s behavior as an “expression of patriotism that deserves to be emulated, not derided,” but I couldn’t disagree more.

Kaepernick could have held a news conference and donated several months of his salary or his entire offseason to assist the Black Lives Matter cause. He chose a symbolic act that he had to know would be controversial and achieve nothing instead of doing something that would have generated sympathy for the cause.

Joe Louis made a good choice and backed up his words with deeds. Colin Kaepernick made a bad choice and chooses to do nothing. Is it any wonder why Joe Louis is a member of the Greatest Generation?

George Howitt is a resident of Sebec.

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