The widow of fallen SEAL Chris Kyle says the National Football League’s participation in national anthem protests has “shattered” unity it once enjoyed with millions of fans.
Taya Kyle said goodbye to her husband in February 2013 at a Dallas memorial service held for thousands at Cowboys Stadium. She said in an open letter posted to her Facebook page on Tuesday that the bond she shared with the league is now gone.
“Your desire to focus on division and anger has shattered what many people loved most about the sport,” she wrote. “Football was really a metaphor for our ideal world — different backgrounds, talents, political beliefs and histories as one big team with one big goal — to do well, to win, TOGETHER.”
Mrs. Kyle’s letter came just one day after the entire Dallas Cowboys team, joined by owner Jerry Jones, linked arms and knelt prior to the national anthem while in Phoenix, Arizona.
The players then stood for the song.
“If you ever want to get off your knees and get to work on building bridges, let me know,” continued Mrs. Kyle. “I have found screaming about the problems in service marriages or even standing in silence in front of them, hasn’t healed even one of them. On the other hand, funding the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, building a team and rolling up my sleeves to get in the trenches during my ‘off time’ — volunteering there outside of my paying jobs — has proven to make real change.”
Mrs. Kyle’s husband was murdered Feb. 2, 2013, while trying to help veteran Eddie Ray Routh work through issues with PTSD.
Routh was convicted two years later on capital murder charges.
Hollywood director Clint Eastwood also turned Chris Kyle’s life story into the blockbuster movie “American Sniper” in 2014.