Famed quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who once stated that mediocrity is out of the question for the Green Bay Packers, is responding to the kneeling that has been taking place among NFL players across the board. Rodgers, who cannot ignore the initial leadership that was provided by Colin Kaepernick when he knelt during the singing of the National Anthem, has responded by calling for players to embrace one another in linked arms.

Although linked arms would not necessarily signify support for Kaepernick's protest against police brutality of Black Americans, it would signify that it is time for all players of the NFL to come together and unite behind that which brings them together.

For the most part, NFL players remain united by a common bond of sportsmanship corroborated by their allegiance to the patriotic principles of the flag, country, and family.

It's about principles

Colin Kaepernick and the ever-growing numbers of NFL players who joined him in his kneeling protests against police brutality directed towards Black Americans are standing for the principles in which they believe. Those principles include the uncompromising commitment to the stance that the police across the country, in urban, rural and mountainous America, need to respect African-Americans and to refrain from brutalizing them in any way, shape or form.

Also included in this message that Kaepernick and his fellow NFL players are struggling very hard to emphasize, is the message that African-Americans, like all Americans, have died for this country, made sacrifices for this country, and have sacrificed beyond measure for the "Red, white and blue." Furthermore, the ancillary message is that no demographic has a monopoly on patriotism, and that the ensuing greatness of our country depends on unity and comradity unlike that which has ever been seen in our nation's history.

Those who died for our country

Aaron Rodgers, who shares patriotism with veterans and all Americans who have sacrified for this nation, would be the first to thank all those who gave, all those who put others first, and all those who would "stop at nothing" to make America a better country. The fact of the matter is that heroes both stand and kneel.

Those who believe in the future of our country, and all those who promise to bring that future to fruition, kneel, stand, salute and march. And, without question, these patriotic Americans love and grow together.

There are those who assert that everybody should stand for the National Anthem out of respect for those who died for this country.

However, there also are those who sincerely believe that if we don't stand for the principles for which those people gave their lives, then they will have given their lives in vain.

And, as both this observer and Kaepernick see it, it is just as much an affront to the principles manifested by the flag for soldiers to have died in vain, as it is for Americans to be unpatriotic. So yes, it can be stated emphatically that Kaepernick and his fellow NFL kneelers are patriotic too. And nobody, no matter their ethnicity or political persuasion, has a monopoly on patriotism, at least not in the "Good old USA."