What I find kind of funny is that the very premise of any scripted, traditional ceremony is based upon providing a meditative moment in which you can pause, recall and quietly consider some deep and important aspect of your culture, religion, organization, etc. Even if you stand for the flag, the idea of doing so is to take a moment and meditate on it's meaning. Demonstrators are therefore not doing anything else with these protests. They are taking the moment to meditate just like everyone else. The reality of things like this is that if there is enough uproar about not standing, what happens is that the entire ceremony goes away. If you aren't willing to accept these players topic of meditation, fact is, you're criticizing thought. The only alternative to freedom of thought is to do away with the ceremony entirely. ...and don't think it would be unprecedented. We edit our social customs continuously and today's corporate culture is great at "fixing" these problems with the attitude of, 'anything that causes turmoil is better left outside the gates.' The irony of this particular demonstration is that it's aimed at something which has been a part of sports for a long time, namely the use of the national anthem prior to games. Moreover, the NFL seems to enjoy it's connections to the military. In the end, I'm not sure that Kaepernick thought it that much through but the thorn in the side of the NFL was positioned pretty nicely.