The former Seattle Seahawk and U.S. Army Green Beret who had an unintentionally large hand in the genesis of the national “kneeling” controversy is back in Seattle.

Nate Boyer, a long-snapper for the Seahawks in the 2015 preseason, wrote a letter to Colin Kaepernick last year after the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback first sat during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Boyer and Kaepernick spoke soon after and found a common ground: Kaepernick would kneel as a sign of respect towards the military.

But in the year-and-a-half since, the issue has become as divisive as any in America. Boyer penned another open letter to “Every Single American,”earlier this week, pleading with Americans to be kind to each other.

As NFL owners and players meet in New York City to debate how to rectify the debate about protesting during the national anthem, Boyer said he believes there is plenty of room for common ground.

“Kneeling is just a gesture,” Boyer said. “It doesn’t change anything. It brings awareness, but protesting in and of itself isn’t changing policies. (That needs) direct action. I hope the NFL gets behind it.”