Jesse Ventura has worn many hats during the course of his life. He is a trained Navy SEAL and worked with the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) who served in Vietnam. After the military, he was a Sergeant-at-Arms for the Mongols Motorcycle Club (Mongols MC) per Uproxx, and he was one of the biggest personalities in professional wrestling after leaving the biker club life behind. He became an actor appearing in movies such as Predator and The Running Man, and he even won the governorship in Minnesota as an Independent. He's been a commentator, author, hosted television shows, and toured as a guest lecturer.
When Ventura talks on certain subjects, he has clout. One of those topics he is fully qualified to talk on is his view of the state of the government, and his perspectives on patriotism in the wake of the Colin Kaepernick Nike "Just Do It" ad campaign, as he did in a recent video. As a person that has been an elected official, per Anon News, and is a wartime veteran, his voice is one of many that many people believe should be heard during this debate on what is patriotism and whether veterans and soldiers find taking a knee during the national anthem to be disrespectful.
"I salute Colin Kaepernick. Fully support him. Fully and completely. That's why I served my country, so that you have the freedom to protest. If we don't like protesting, what's next?... He shouldn't be booed, and who's he harming?"Ventura is no stranger to having his patriotism questioned. Despite his record of service to his country, when serving as governor of Minnesota, a bipartisan bill was passed that mandated all schoolchildren be required to recite the pledge of allegiance each school day, which he immediately vetoed. The reason he did that is because he does not believe in mandating patriotism. He believes patriotism is the product of a government doing what they were elected to do in a manner that serves the people in the best way it can.
"Governments should not mandate patriotism. Governments earn patriotism. You earn that. Who mandated patriotism? The Germans in the 1930's. They mandated patriotism. That's what we wanna be? We want to build walls now and be East Berlin? That's the Direction of the United States today?"Ventura stated that it doesn't matter whether anyone likes the position a protester is taking, or Kaepernick specifically, but that as Americans, his right to protest needs to be respected and defended because without the right to peacefully protest the people have lost one of their greatest ways to make their voice heard.
"I salute Colin Kaepernick for having courage, a man of his convictions, good for him. Whether I agree with him or not is irrelevant."