In a volatile political climate such as the one Americans live in, any sort of unifying event is always much needed. The great American game of football used to be one of those events, but even that has been tarnished by political arguments in recent years.
In 2016, then-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began his practice of publicly kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem before NFL games. He said he did so because America “oppresses black people and people of color,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Of course, that is utterly ridiculous. In reality, the United States has laws in place expressly prohibiting the oppression of any particular race.
That is not to say that racist people don’t exist, because they do. But the idea that America as a whole is a racist country could not be further from the truth.
Nonetheless, Kaepernick’s antics sparked a movement around the country. Five years later, the disrespectful practice of kneeling during the anthem has now become mainstream.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of patriots who wish to honor the national anthem and, in turn, the country. That is where Alex Couch of Castlewood, Virginia, comes in.
According to WCYB-TV, Couch makes his living as a farmer. He admitted on a normal day, his job of mowing fields is “actually kind of boring.”
But two weeks ago, Couch noticed a football game was about to take place near a field he was tending for a friend. WCYB reported the game was between the hometown Castlewood Blue Devils and the visiting North Greene (Tennessee) Huskies.
Couch was still in the nearby field when the Castlewood band began playing the customary pregame national anthem, and he quickly caught the eye of some of the fans in the bleachers.
“When they started playing the national anthem I looked up at the flag, and you could see him in the distance,” Niki Hamm, who attended the game, told WCYB.
“He was standing on the tire to his tractor, with his arm across his chest and paying tribute to the flag.”
While people like Kaepernick complain about supposed “oppression” as they make millions of dollars, Couch said standing for the anthem is a small token of gratitude compared to the sacrifices that so many Americans make every day.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of men and women who have sacrificed so much, and can’t stand for the national anthem,” Couch said. “The least I can do is take a minute out of my day to stand there and recognize them and stand with them almost.”
People like Couch are the true lifeblood of America — blue-collar workers who love the country we live in and understand the significance of recognizing it. They are also the same people who are effectively ignored by the Biden administration and its progressive policies.
If the leftist establishment would take a moment to get to know these people, they might find that they enjoy the company of everyday Americans and share some of the same values. Hollywood actor Matt Damon admitted as much when he said his time with heartland Americans during research for a recent movie was “eye-opening.”
Contrary to the belief many elites seem to hold, these people are actual human beings, and they are human beings who love their country. For Hamm’s part, she said the love for America that Couch displayed resonated with her as a family member of people who served in the military.
“With everything going on in the world with Afghanistan and COVID and everything, that he actually took the time out to pay tribute, for him to do that, it was great.”
There are improvements that can be made in America, as is the case with any country that has ever existed. Humans were created with a sinful nature, and no place on the earth will ever achieve absolute perfection.
But standing for the anthem does not represent an endorsement of every sinful part of America. Instead, it signifies a united effort as Americans to try and make the country the best it can be each and every day.
In that pursuit, a simple salute can go quite a long way.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.