Nate Boyer penned an open letter to every single American about uniting as one.
Nate Boyer, a former Army Green Beret and Seattle Seahawks long snapper, penned an open letter to President Donald Trump, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the NFL and every American, calling for people to stop picking sides in the debate over NFL protests.
In the letter published by ESPN, Boyer discussed how he is hurt by the current situation and the hatred that surrounds it. He said progress could be made if people sit down and have conversations with each other.
He discussed how he recently sat down with a group of special operations veterans where they discussed their feelings on the national anthem protests.
"We all had very different takes, but what surprised me most at the end of the discussion was that we all agreed on one thing," he wrote. "Colin Kaepernick and President Trump should be the ones uniting our country together. Wait...what? I know it sounds crazy, but maybe that's exactly what we need to see. Maybe that's how we start to heal. Two men sit in a room and talk, simple as that."
Kaepernick started kneeling after initially sitting during the national anthem last season to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Last year, Boyer wrote a letter to Kaepernick about how sitting during the national anthem was disrespectful, helping convince the quarterback to switch to kneeling instead.
He revisited that moment, saying neither him nor Kaepernick knew that kneeling would be the result, but they found common ground.
"I believe that progress and real change happens in this world when you reach across the divide, you build a bridge, you swallow your pride, you open your mind, you embrace what you don't understand, and ultimately you surrender."
Several other NFL players, as well as numerous other athletes across America, ultimately joined him. The protests grew this season after Trump criticized NFL players who chose to follow suit. Trump said owners should "fire" NFL players who protest the anthem and referred to them as "son[s] of b------". Players responded by protesting en masse.
He ended his letter by calling for unity, telling people not to pick sides.
"So please, no more lines in the sand, not at home, not among our people. No more choosing sides, no more 'for or against.' I believe our Veterans will be called upon to lead the way in healing the world and solving its problems; right now our country needs that more than I can remember. So I'll be here, standing in the radical middle, doing what I can to continue fighting for those that can't fight for themselves. Let's get this thing fixed together, you and me. I love you all with all my heart."