Navy Officer Refuses To Stand For The National Anthem - Pays The Price

Petty Officer 2nd Class Janaye Ervin trying to 'opt out' of the national anthem has sparked a national debate. Should black soldiers be punished, possibly jailed, for exercising their constitutional rights? Or does the uniform make a difference?

Ervin made headlines when she took a page from the playbook of many pro-athletes. Instead of standing and saluting the flag during 'morning colors,' the daily flag raising ceremony, she took a knee. While NFL players might be able to get away with a protest of patriotism, sailors don't have that kind of leeway. The Navy protocol handbook requires sailors in uniform to stand and salute during the anthem, from start to finish.

Ervin was immediately disciplined, though the Navy hasn't revealed yet what actions were taken. “It’s currently under review, and once that review is complete, then we’ll have a clear picture of what occurred and if any punitive action will occur,” said U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Clint Ramsden.

At worst, Ervin could face jail time and a dishonorable discharge for breaking protocol. She continues to defend her right to protest, however. "I feel like a hypocrite singing about the ‘land of the free’ when I know that only applies to some Americans. I will gladly stand again, when ALL AMERICANS are afforded the same freedom," she wrote, according to Military.com.

An online petition on change.org is calling to 'Keep Black Soldiers Out of Jail For Choosing not to Stand for National Anthem.' Within a couple of days, it had several hundred signatures, but the support took a sharp decline. It's been three months, and the petition still hasn't made it to 1,000.

A Facebook Page entitled ‘Hold Janaye Ervin Accountable’ expresses the opposite view. Ervin took an oath, and knowingly broke it. Many feel she deserves the consequences that come with it.

Source: The Washington Post
Photo: Fox News

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