Football players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem have been accused of a lack of patriotism.
America has had and does have serious issues of on-going racial injustice. When it is obvious from personal experience, from reading a newspaper, or watching television or clicking on a smartphone screen that the country is besmirched by this injustice, patriotism (love and devotion to country) would seem to be in order to make the country better, to make it live up to the ideals it espouses.
In my opinion the players are pleading for acknowledgement that non-white citizens’ lives are more important than a few brief moments of deference to a flag and a song. Then they get up and go out on the field and do their jobs to the enjoyment of the fans. America is a great country. I believe the players want to make it greater.