I understand both sides. The flag of your country represents so much that people care deeply about. We respect it because we love our country. Sometimes that country has problems that need to be recognized. Protesting the flag is a way to make very clear that we can change what the flag represents with our actions or inaction about injustice. Both sides have valid reasons for feeling the way they do. But I frankly feel that people have missed the point of that respect this time around.
What is more important? Helping each other or arguing about the flag? If someone was bleeding out and all you had to staunch their wounds was the flag, would you quibble over whether that is respectful while you let that person die? I’m not trying to be overly dramatic with my example. People are literally dying and we are ignoring it in favor of arguing over a sports player.
There is no respect to the flag involved in this argument. It is meaningless.