CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's been an interesting start to the NFL season.

Starting with the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand during the National Anthem, it's grown from kneeling to standing with interlocked arms to raised fists to protest aggressive police action against African-American citizens.

After raising his fist during the National Anthem, Kansas City Chief Marcus Peters made reference to what happened in Charleston, and how nothing's been done about it.

He didn't elaborate, but if he's talking about the Emanuel Nine, that tragedy had nothing to do with police, but a lone gunman who opened fire in a place of worship and took nine innocent lives. If Marcus Peters is talking about the Walter Scott case in North Charleston, that case, like the Dylan Roof case, is in the court system and will be decided by a jury in a few months.

And this past weekend in Alabama, a high school public address announcer told a cheering crowd anyone who doesn't stand for the National Anthem should be lined up and shot at.

Do people have the right to protest? Absolutely.

But it's gotten a little out of hand. Tensions are so high, it's as if emotion has replaced reason.

Let's all step back and take a deep breath.

The NFL players have no problem cashing their million-dollar paychecks. There are bad police officers, but many more great officers. There are good citizens in the NFL, but also some not-so-good citizens.

This debate includes a lot of irony. On one hand, American soldiers fight for our freedom, which includes the right to protest, something others consider disrespectful.

I think before we target the American Flag and the National Anthem, let's first educate ourselves on the issues, focus our energy on what can lead to real change instead of what can only inflame and lead to more division.

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