Listen up, Colin Kaepernick.
You too, Kaepernick critics.
There’s a resoundingly wise reminder he, you, we all need to embrace.
It comes not from the U.S. President or from the president of the NFL Players Union. The words that resonate so richly came from the lips of a fifth-grade boy who innocently enough found himself and two of his pals on the center of a patriotic platform.
We’re referring of course to Nalan Tuttle, who with Jack LeBreck and Casey Dolan became the subjects of a viral photo of the three boys on voluntary flag detail, putting away a U.S. flag on a windy day at their school, Hayden Meadows Elementary. It was young Jack who lay down on the ground as the other boys folded the flag above his prone body. Even though flag protocol says it’s OK for a flag to touch the ground as long as it isn’t soiled, the boys weren’t taking any chances. And for their effort, many thousands of people are giving them a standing ovation.
But back to Nalan.
When contacted by Press reporter and Marine Corps veteran Judd Wilson, Nalan explained the importance of the flag to him — and why we’re coming up short as a nation in honoring that venerable symbol of freedom.
“There are people that are in different groups and have different opinions, but what bothers me is that some people are against each other about the flag,” Nalan told the reporter. “We are together. We are the same people. But the problem is that we need to learn how to cooperate.”
Cooperate: to act jointly; work toward the same end.
Not pick sides; not divide. Cooperate. Work together.
After all, as Americans we play for the same team. Maybe that team just needs a fifth grader as its coach.