Sailor stationed at NAS Pensacola 'proud of herself' for protesting National Anthem

Sailor stationed at NAS Pensacola "proud of herself" for protesting National Anthem

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) -- A Facebook post by a sailor assigned at NAS Pensacola is creating a social media firestorm after she tried to mimic San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The woman, who has not been identified, shared a live video on her Facebook page of her appearing to protest by sitting down during the National Anthem while on the base.

In the Facebook video, the woman shows viewers her sitting on a bench as the National Anthem is played reportedly on base. She then holds up her left fist in protest.

"The U.S. Military Police WTF Moments" Facebook page referred to the U.S. sailors actions as a "disrespect at flag call". The video had been seen more than 44,000 times as of Thursday night.

Lt. Commander Kate Meadows said the Navy became aware of the video last week and disciplinary action is pending.

"We're required to stand for colors, for the National Anthem, in and out of uniform," Meadows said.

According to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Naval service personnel are required to stand and face the flag whenever the National Anthem is played. Meadows adds that they routinely teach sailors appropriate use of social media.

The sailor will not be discharged from the Navy, though many online and on our Facebook poll expressed she should. Others think that some sort of punishment is necessary.

"She has to face the consequences, she should face the consequences," John Likens said.

Likens agrees that she has a right to Freedom of Speech, but rules are rules in the military. Ashley Rietz agrees and added that the protest is counterproductive and only furthers a divide.

"Sitting during the National Anthem or posting something to social media isn't actually making a difference," Rietz said. "It's a lot of hot air compared to the actions you could take to help people."

The U.S. sailor is heard on the Facebook saying she is "proud of herself". She goes on to say what she did was "small but significant for her".

At the end of the nearly nine minute video, the sailor explained her stance about not being forced to stand during the National Anthem.

"I don't not respect the men and women that serve, who I serve alongside. It's just until this country shows that they got my back as a black woman. They have my people's back and not even just being black I mean people of color, I can't and I won't. I won't be forced to."

She called it the hardest 45 seconds of her life.

Warning: The video contains adult language.

Do you think her actions were disrespectful or understandable? Voice your opinion in our poll:

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