“During the medal ceremony for her gold-winning USA gymnastics team on Tuesday at the Rio Olympic Arena, Douglas failed to show what many considered appropriate reverence. As her four teammates stood at full attention with their hands over their hearts, Douglas was slumped with her hands held casually in front of her as if she had just finished last.”
-Bill Plaschke, LA Times reporter
“Military rules obligate servicemen and women to salute when they hear the anthem if they are in uniform. Those who happen to be in an area where the flag is being raised must salute the flag. If they don't see the flag around them, they're expected to stop and salute in the direction of the music. Those not wearing their uniforms must stand and place their hand over their hearts. A 2008 law clarified that service members may salute even in civilian dress”
Carl W. Baker, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, said the ritual is about paying respect to the constitution. "One of the first things you're taught is that you have to stand at attention during colors, and look toward the flag and salute to the flag," said Baker who served 32 years in the military.
Colin Kaeppernick, NFL player, decided to sit during the national anthem during a game to protest against black oppression. It caused a big controversy, like what happened to Gabby Douglas. When asked his motivation for doing this, he said:
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," [Colin] Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
"This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."
-Colin Kaepernick, NFL player