Navy Sailor refuses to stand during the National Anthem

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It seems that refusing to show respect during the National Anthem is becoming popular for American citizens, including among members of the national armed forces. U.S. Navy Sailor Janaye Ervin is under investigation for not standing during the National Anthem.

Following in the footsteps of Colin Kaepernick and other athletes, Ervin explained in a Facebook post that she refused to stand during The Star Spangled Banner as a sign of protest against police brutality targeting African Americans:

 “I feel like a hypocrite singing about the ‘land of the free’ when I know that only applies to some Americans,” she wrote. “I will gladly stand again, when ALL AMERICANS are afforded the same freedom.”

But unlike NFL players, troops must stand, whether they are in uniform or not, when the National Anthem is playing according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice article 92. Those who violated it can face prosecution.

In fact, Ervin added on her post that:

“The Navy has decided to punish me for defending the Constitution and has taken away my equipment I need to do my Naval job.”

It is true that some police officers may abuse their authority and have racial bias.  No country is perfect, and Ervin has the right to speak up against something she feels that government officials should address. But, is it ok for her, a U.S. Navy Sailor, not to stand during the National Anthem when there are many police officers and members of the armed forces who put themselves in danger to help their countrymen regardless of race because they love and respect this country?

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Maria Robles is a recent graduate from New Jersey City University. She believes that everyone should be informed about current issues affecting our society.