Marshawn Lynch has made a distinct reputation for himself as someone who refuses to speak to the press regardless of the fines imposed. Rather than adhere to NFL corporate policy, he actively defies the institution that has made him a multimillionaire. Despite the fact that Mr. Lynch has unfettered access to the media and can call a press conference just as easily as you or I can order a Big Mac, he has chosen a path that only aims to create controversy and bolster his own notoriety.

The same underlying issues can be found with all players who have decided to desecrate the sanctity of our national anthem with the nonsensical argument they are doing so to advocate change. As a veteran of the Army’s Special Operation Forces (SOF), I have taken the lives of enemies and witnessed my brothers in arms have theirs taken. Like others in my previous profession, I understand the true meaning of sacrifice and the symbolic importance of both our nation’s flag and anthem. I was willing to fight and die for the freedoms enjoyed by Mr. Lynch and now have one simple and humble request. On behalf of my good friend Sedrick Ellis, New Orleans Saints Defensive Tackle and Super Bowl XLIV Champion, I would like to cordially invite you to the 2018 Baja Athletic Conference where we will discuss this issue and many others.

Among the 70 NFL Hall of Famers and active players, the event will feature notable military leaders including a medal of honor recipient, active members of the Special Operations Community, and Mark Geist, a survivor of the 2011 Benghazi attack. The goal of this annual conference is to bring together leaders of both the military and NFL to discuss leadership, entrepreneurship, and other topics relevant to both communities.

Mr. Lynch advocates on behalf of a charity supporting education for disenfranchised youth. As it turns out, we both agree that the only path to fixing the divide within our country is through education, but without the opportunity to debate the merits of his actions, no true progress can be made.

CPT(R) Tyler Merritt
CEO Nine Line Apparel