Former Texas deep snapper Nate Boyer runs onto the field carrying the American flag at the 2014 Texas Bowl. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN)

BEVO BEAT Football

Open letter from Nate Boyer to Colin Kaepernick garners praise

Posted August 31st, 2016

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By now just about everyone in the sports world, and beyond, has weighed in on Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem. Former Green Beret and Longhorns deep snapper Nate Boyer decided to offer his thoughts on Tuesday.

Boyer wrote an open letter to Kaepernick in an opinion piece for ArmyTimes.com. In it he expressed that he knew Kaepernick was supportive of American troops, citing a message the 49ers quarterback wrote on an auctioned football for a charity Boyer works with. He also acknowledged that racism is still a big problem in the U.S.

Kaepernick has received some harsh criticism and some support following his protest. Of all the reactions, however, the one from Boyer seems to have struck a chord with those supportive, and critical, of Kaepernick.

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Here’s how he concluded his letter:

I’m not judging you for standing up for what you believe in. It’s your inalienable right. What you are doing takes a lot of courage, and I’d be lying if I said I knew what it was like to walk around in your shoes. I’ve never had to deal with prejudice because of the color of my skin, and for me to say I can relate to what you’ve gone through is as ignorant as someone who’s never been in a combat zone telling me they understand what it’s like to go to war.

Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I’m trying to listen to what you’re saying and why you’re doing it. When I told my mom about this article, she cautioned me that “the last thing our country needed right now was more hate.” As usual, she’s right.

There are already plenty people fighting fire with fire, and it’s just not helping anyone or anything. So I’m just going to keep listening, with an open mind.

I look forward to the day you’re inspired to once again stand during our national anthem. I’ll be standing right there next to you. Keep on trying … De Oppresso Liber.

Translated, de oppresso liber means, “to free the oppressed,” and is the motto of the U.S. Army Special Forces.

The positive reaction to Boyer’s message started rolling in on social media after it was posted.

Some former Longhorns appreciated Boyer’s words as well.

 

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