Nate Boyer

By Jayme Lamm – November 1, 2016
photos courtesy of Nate Boyer

Former Green Beret and former long snapper for The University of Texas and the Seattle Seahawks, Nate Boyer made major headlines earlier this season when he sent a letter to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 

During preseason, Kaepernick decided to sit for the National Anthem, an action that resulted in widespread outrage. While many saw extreme disrespect for our military in Kaepernick’s actions, Boyer went a step further, wanting to understand it. 

Boyer has a unique take, having previously served as a Green Beret in the United States Army. If any of us was to take issue with Kaepernick’s actions, it’d surely be Boyer. But rather than being quick to judge or to continue to feed the unsettling media frenzy that soon took place, Boyer took the time to listen and give Kaepernick something others didn’t—respect. 

While football is very much a part of the 35-year-old veteran’s life, his causes and passions extend much deeper. Whatever your stance (no pun intended) on the sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem and what it means to those who served, Boyer has a very simple explanation, saying, “There’s a lot of people who don’t get it.” 

Yet again, it goes beyond so much more than football or pre-game routines. This is more about our country and the state of disarray it’s in and less about the actual National Anthem. 


Getting to know each Other

Boyer’s thoughts on so much of what is going on in this world can be summed up in a tweet he sent to Kaepernick after he invited him to come and talk about the issues. On Sept. 1, Boyer tweeted to Kaepernick.


Keep reading for more information on Nate Boyer.

 

Boyer’s time in the Army has permeated the rest of his life. Boyer says it’s the people (and media) fueling the hate in our country that is what’s wrong, and really, that has nothing to do with Kaepernick. 

While much of the world is up in arms about the divide between sports and the military and what’s taking place on NFL fields across the country, Boyer sees things differently. “The gap that needs to be bridged is the left and right on the political spectrum, regardless of color,” Boyer says. “That’s a much bigger gap than sports and the military.” 

It’s clear Boyer and Kaepernick have differing opinions, but Boyer isn’t naïve. He understands they came from incredibly different backgrounds and just because they have different views doesn’t make one of them right and the other wrong. “There’s a reason these things have been complicated issues for a long time—both sides have valid points,” he explains. 

Boyer’s thoughts on so much of what is going on in this world can be summed up in a tweet he sent to Kaepernick after he invited him to come and talk about the issues. On Sept. 1, Boyer tweeted to Kaepernick, “Good talk. Let’s just keep moving forward. This is what America should be all about.” 

We should all be focusing on moving forward. Yes, it really is that simple. 

Keep reading for more information on Nate Boyer.

 

You might think Boyer’s solution to our country’s problems are to have more men and women enlist in the military or to have everyone come out to the polls and vote, but really it’s much more basic than any of that. 

“If you want to see things change, you have to take action and be part of that change,” Boyer believes. He says it’s great to have a cause you are passionate about, but if you’re not actively fighting for it, to make things better, what is the point? 

When it comes to this year’s presidential election, Boyer’s optimism and simplicity fades away. “I don’t think either of our candidates right now are very inspiring. That’s frustrating,” he says. 

“It feels like voting for one candidate or another is feeding into that divide,” Boyer explains. But elections and political affiliations aside, there’s a lot we can all be doing right now to help our country continue to move forward. 

In a situation like Kaepernick’s (and others who have followed suit), there is no right and wrong, according to Boyer. “We all need to understand the perspective that we all came from different places,” he says. Understanding is half the battle. The ability to show compassion and respect for those around you will do our country and each of our respective communities some good, and that’s really what Boyer’s agenda is. 

“If half the world that is doing well spent a day with the other half who wasn’t doing so well, we’d all be doing well,” Boyer says simply and profoundly. 

Check out two of Boyer’s favorite organizations: VetsandPlayers.org and WaterBoys.org.

 
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