I am just as patriotic as the next guy, but this media coverage of children being forced to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and pro football players’ refusal to stand for the national anthem makes me wonder.

The students’ and the athletes’ reasoning does not matter, nor should it be judged. Have the media nothing better to cover? This has got to stop.

Being patriotic is a choice, just as voting is a choice. It is not a requirement of being an ideal U.S. citizen, nor should it define one.

In the case of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the only reason this is making news is that he is a professional player and a public figure. Listen, I have been in a baseball stadium full of thousands of people, hundreds of them sitting during the national anthem. That’s America’s pastime, people. Get over yourselves already. Move on.

As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, patriotism is love for one’s country. The critics would have you believe that if you don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance or stand during the national anthem, then you do not love your country. This is totally ludicrous.

It baffles me how the term “choice” takes on so many meanings. As long as someone else’s choice fits one’s own beliefs, then it is OK. Otherwise, it is taboo. This too is total nonsense and severely hypocritical.

That’s like saying just because I live in Maine, being a fan of the Yankees or any other team is unacceptable. How trivial. How trite!

Griphen Stone