TRUMP VS. NFL on NATIONAL ANTHEM
This weekend Donald Trump made an enemy out of the NFL when he had this to say about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, kneeling during the national anthem to protest the killing of innocent black people by the police back in August 2016, saying “I would you love to see one of those NFL owners say get that son of a bitch off the field. Get him off the field right now. He’s fired… HE’S FIRED!”
Reality check- the reality show part of your life is over Donald.
The comments as you can imagine received a lot of attention and criticism, especially this part of it. When Trump spoke about white supremacists he said there were some quote “very fine people”. Got it. But he calls an athlete protesting the killing of unarmed black men is a “son of a bitch”.
Journalist Jamil Smith Tweeted: “Trump referred to any NFL player to protests racism and police violence as a son of a bitch who should be fired” to which Teresa Kaepernick, Colin Kaepernick’s mother responded on Twitter “Guess that makes me a proud bitch”.
Trump’s weird war against sports teams escalated when Golden State Warriors Basketball player Steph Curry announced he did not want to go to the White House, saying “you don’t want to rush to a decision and understand the magnitude for what that means, we have an opportunity to send a statement… to stand for something.”
Trump responded to this — about twenty minutes after the segment aired on Fox and Friends- Tweeting —
So he disinvited someone from the White House who already said he’s not going. Ok- this is starting to feel like high school. Then LeBron James joined the Twitter battle adding:
As Trump continued to speak out against people in sports kneeling during the national anthem, all eyes were on football teams to see what they would do on Sunday Night Football during the national anthem.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement in support of players expressing their political opinions during the national anthem, saying: “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.”
This was followed by many teams releasing their own statements in support of the players expressing their political views from the Arizona Cardinals to the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons.
Michael Thomas of the Miami Dolphins released this powerful statement —
Even Michael Jordan — legendary basketball player and owner of the Hornets— released this statement “One of the fundamental rights this country is founded on was freedom of speech, and we have a long tradition of nonviolent peaceful protest. Those who exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized”
And on Sunday, some teams did indeed kneel and some locked their arms together to show solidarity for those who kneeled. And some, such as the Seattle Seahawaks and the Tennessee Titans stayed in their locker rooms during the national anthem.
Trump continued to attack the NFL on Twitter but it’s clear — if it’s a fight he wants, Trump’s war against the NFL will be a hard one. As director Ava DuVernay points out on Twitter “He’s not declaring war on NFL and NBA. Owners are his donors. He’s declaring war against black people with opinions.”
Many however are saying that kneeling during the national anthem shows a disrespect for the flag, the country and the troops, and those who support Donald Trump are burning their NFL Jerseys in protest.
Although, as Twitter user @koopa_kinte points out in an incredible thread — the founding fathers never said kneeling during the national anthem was a sign of disrespect, but carrying the flag horizontally, wearing it as clothes and using it as advertising IS — something that is done in America regularly without anyone saying anything about it, and @carolynburkestl says “Think NFL players is ‘protesting the flag” is like thinking #RosaParks was protesting public transportation.
The protest has now spread to Major League Baseball. Oakland A’s Catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first professional baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem over the weekend. He has also released a statement saying
“The point of my kneeling is not to disrespect our military…I’m kneeling for the people that don’t have a voice. This goes beyond the black community, this goes beyond the Hispanic community, because right now we’re having a racial divide in all types of people…”
He later Tweeted – “This now has gone from just a Black Lives Matter topic to just complete inequality of any man or woman that wants to stands for Their rights!”
What side are you on? Should trump be challenging players and the NFL or is this encroaching on free speech? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.