Craig native, veteran Marine Cory Hixson weighs in on NFL protests in social media video
One Craig native and military veteran has made it clear where he stands.
A video posted on Facebook Sunday depicted Cory Hixson, who served in the United States Marine Corps, speaking out on the issue of athletes in the National Football League kneeling for the national anthem in protest.
Hixson, who was significantly wounded in action in Iraq in 2004 — including the loss of an eye and traumatic brain injury, which earned him a Purple Heart — expressed his disappointment with players whom he felt disrespected the American flag and those who fought and died for it.
“That flag represents so much more than being looked down on,” he said in the video. “In the military, they taught us to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, to not lay down to the enemy and stand up for what’s right.”
Earlier this year, Hixson and his family, who now live on the Front Range after moving from Craig, received an outpouring of support after a medication change had an adverse effect on the Marine, causing a panic-driven disappearance and a police search.
Hixson was ultimately found safe and sound and was able to receive treatment, though the incident served as a way to bring attention to the plight of veterans in Colorado and beyond still coping with physical and mental recovery from wartime.
In the video — which gained thousands of views in its first 24 hours on the social media site — Hixson concluded his thoughts on what’s happening with the NFL by displaying an autographed photo of the Denver Broncos’ John Elway, winner of three Super Bowl championships, twice as a quarterback and once as the team’s general manager and executive vice president of football operations.
Many of the team’s current roster, 32 total, knelt for the anthem leading up to a Sunday game in Buffalo, New York, and Hixson was among the many who were far more dismayed by the organization for the player’s political actions than the loss to the Bills.
Related story: Some Broncos fans angrily abandon team over NFL protests
Hixson said he had looked up to Elway growing up and was “over the moon” upon receiving the personalized photo that thanked him for his service.
Now, however, he feels that was “just talk.”
“I can’t accept this from you, John Elway,” he said, with the video ending as he ripped the photo in half.
Hixson later relayed a message to the Craig Press via Facebook further clarifying his thoughts on the matter of athletes using their First Amendment rights to call attention to issues like police brutality.
“I am not disputing the right to protest and your freedoms, but to some the flag and anthem represent a significant importance and to stand by and protest one injustice while creating another is not creating change. It only divides us further,” he said. “Many Americans look to American traditions like the NFL to unite us, a place to put aside your differences and cheer for your teams. If the issue they protest is important to them why not use their time, the game, rather than something that should be about those that sacrificed their lives for their protest?”