Marine Col. Jeffrey Powers Letter to NFL Commissioner-Authorship Confirmed!

Summary of eRumor:

Retired U.S. Marine Colonel Jeffrey A. Powers wrote a letter the NFL commissioner about players kneeling in protest during the playing of the national anthem.

The Truth:

Major Colonel Jeffrey A. Powers’ wrote an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the NFL’s handling of player protests during the national anthem.

The letter first appeared on discussion forums and veteran email groups. Then, Colonel Jeffrey Powers’ letter to the NFL commissioner started to go viral in September 2016 after Allen B. West, a former congressman and current outspoken conservative, posted it on his website.

The letter opens by Powers recalling how he missed the start of the 1990-1991 football season because he was serving with a battalion of Marines in Operation Desert Storm. Ultimately, 14 of Powers’ fellow Marines “returned home with the American flag draped across their lifeless bodies,” Powers wrote, and the last conversations he had with one of those fallen Marines was about the New York Giants:

Many friends, Marines, and Special Forces Soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.

Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for. They are essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have actually done something for this country beside playing with a ball and believing they’re something special! They’re not! My Marines and Soldiers were!

Powers goes on to write that the NFL commissioner is complicit in the protests because he’s happy to fine them for “small infractions” but lacks the “moral courage and respect” to put an immediate stop to the player protests:

I observed a player getting a personal foul for twerking in the end zone after scoring. I guess that’s much worse than disrespecting the flag and our National Anthem. Hmmmmm, isn’t it his 1st Amendment right to express himself like an idiot in the end zone?

Why is taunting not allowed yet taunting America is OK? You fine players for wearing 9-11 commemorative shoes yet you allow scum on the sidelines to sit, kneel or pump their pathetic fist in the air. They are so deprived with their multi-million dollar contracts for playing a freaking game! You condone it all by your refusal to act. You’re just as bad and disgusting as they are. I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not.

Powers concludes his letter to the NFL commissioner by hoping that the NFL’s “high paid protesting pretty boys and (Goodell) look in the mirror” and see who they really are.

While we weren’t able to track down where the letter was first published, many of the biographical details in Colonel Jeffrey Powers’ biography match up. Powers is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and commanded a 1,200-man Task Force in Saudi Arabia as part of the lead contingent of Operation Desert Shield, according to his bio at Bloomberg Business:

He was decorated for valor while serving as Operations Officer for the lead Task Force into Kuwait. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps achieving the rank of Colonel. He held command assignments in Marine reconnaissance, light armor reconnaissance, a Dutch Marine rifle company, a U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret) training company, as well as an Officer in charge of Special Operations Training Group for the Marines on the west coast. He served as an Analyst for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems at Boeing. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Domestic Energy Corp. until March 2008. Mr. Powers served as an Executive Officer of Eyemakers, Inc. He has been Chairman and Director of Homeland Security Technology Inc., since October 1, 2004. Colonel Powers is a graduate of Villanova University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, an M.S. in Urban and Environmental Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies, Naval Warfare College, Newport, RI.

Given all that, we’re confirming the authorship of Colonel Jeffrey A. Powers’ letter to the NFL commissioner.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 12/15/2016

Commissioner,

I’ve been a season pass holder at Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl and Giants Stadium.

I missed the ’90-’91 season because I was with a battalion of Marines in Desert Storm. 14 of my wonderful Marines returned home with the American Flag draped across their lifeless bodies. My last conversation with one of them, Sgt Garrett Mongrella, was about how our Giants were going to the Super Bowl. He never got to see it.

Many friends, Marines, and Special Forces Soldiers who worked with or for me through the years returned home with the American Flag draped over their coffins.

Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for. They are essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have actually done something for this country beside playing with a ball and believing they’re something special! They’re not! My Marines and Soldiers were!

You are complicit in this!

You’ll fine players for large and small infractions but you lack the moral courage and respect for our nation and the fallen to put an immediate stop to this. Yes, I know, it’s their 1st Amendment right to behave in such a despicable manner. What would happen if they came out and disrespected you or the refs publicly?

I observed a player getting a personal foul for twerking in the end zone after scoring. I guess that’s much worse than disrespecting the flag and our National Anthem. Hmmmmm, isn’t it his 1st Amendment right to express himself like an idiot in the end zone?

Why is taunting not allowed yet taunting America is OK? You fine players for wearing 9-11 commemorative shoes yet you allow scum on the sidelines to sit, kneel or pump their pathetic fist in the air. They are so deprived with their multi-million dollar contracts for playing a freaking game! You condone it all by your refusal to act. You’re just as bad and disgusting as they are. I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not.

Legends and heroes do NOT wear shoulder pads. They wear body armor and carry rifles.

They make minimum wage and spend months and years away from their families. They don’t do it for an hour on Sunday. They do it 24/7 often with lead, not footballs, coming in their direction. They watch their brothers carted off in pieces not on a gurney to get their knee iced. They don’t even have ice! Many don’t have legs or arms.

Some wear blue and risk their lives daily on the streets of America. They wear fire helmets and go upstairs into the fire rather than down to safety. On 9-11, hundreds vanished. They are the heroes.

I hope that your high paid protesting pretty boys and you look in that mirror when you shave tomorrow and see what you really are, legends in your own minds. You need to hit the road and take those worms with you!

Time to change the channel.

Col Jeffrey A Powers USMC (Ret)

Vista, California