A quarterback in the National Football League has garnered national media attention over the past several weeks. His name is Colin Kaepernick.

Is he better known now for his quarterback skills, lack of quarterback skills or for his actions during the national anthem?

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There are generally two schools of thought about his actions: one belonging to those who support him, the other to those who find his actions upsetting.

I have a different opinion. I thank him and the other, very few, squeaky wheels for bringing attention to our national anthem.

Though national media focus on their misguided protests, I choose to stand proudly with the majority, who stand at attention, hands to hearts, proudly showing respect for a country that, despite its problems, is still the greatest. I have followed the protests fairly closely and have seen only professional athletes behaving this way.

So where is the coverage of high school and college athletes showing their respect? Why are national media misdirecting attention from so many singers of the anthem? What about the musicians who play the anthem, who would be honored by media coverage?

Though I speak ill of the industry, I thank the paper for which this column is written. It also understands freedom of speech, not only for the protesters, but also for the majority who disagree with them.

I have played sports and spent 22 years in the military with teammates and soldiers of all backgrounds. We got along fine. Racism never came up. Sports and common bonds have a way of unifying teammates.

Our leaders, too often, do a poor job dealing with racial issues, stoking fires and making relations worse.

An example is when the NFL commissioner said the league supports athletes who sit for the anthem, while other athletes have been fined for wearing patriotic shoes and socks or pink attire for cancer awareness.

Another example is on the show "Dancing with the Stars." The dumb US swimmer, whose actions during the Olympics gave him an invite into the show's cast, was the dancer most used for promotion. Not the gymnast, nor the many others, but the controversial figure.

National media could stop paying attention to those vocal few and controversial figures.

Local media do a nice job covering sports and news. Perhaps national media could follow their lead.