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Trump calls for the end of NFL protest

by Lou Venditti - News Editor
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 09:00 pm

President Donald Trump continues to prove that he just doesn’t seem to get the statement NFL players are trying to make by kneeling. The President of the United States went after professional football players in the National Football League for not standing for the National Anthem before games started. 

He went after them both on Twitter and during a campaign rally for Luther Strange in Alabama on Friday, Sept. 22. 

His loudest and most offensive comments came during his speech at the campaign rally. Trump rattled off the usual applause lines which went on to include a pointed shot at NFL players. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired,’” Trump said.

Trump later took to Twitter in two distinct tirades. In the first, Trump laid out his stance, saying that players who make millions shouldn’t be allowed to “disrespect the flag,” and that they should be fired if they do. 

Trump then went on to call for a boycott of the NFL if players don’t stop protesting before insulting the ratings of the league.

There was a lot to unpack from the president’s comments, especially considering the fact that he missed the point. The protests stem from Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the National Anthem beginning last season. Kaepernick, who remains without a job in the NFL, began kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against people of color. 

Kaepernick became an outspoken critic of police forces in America, and became a powerful voice through his protest. 

Since beginning the protest last season, many players have knelt with Kaepernick for the cause. According to Vice, nearly 70 percent of the NFL is black men. It’s no wonder players would stand in support of Kaepernick. However, it wasn’t until Trump’s comments that the NFL sided with the players.

Kaepernick’s protest was seen as a nuisance by NFL front offices last season. When he and the San Francisco 49ers failed to reach an agreement this past offseason, Kaepernick entered the free agency world and still hasn’t been signed. This has mainly been due to the fact that teams see him as a distraction off the field. Yet, the NFL is now supporting players in protest in the face of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump crossed a line when he called for the end of player protests during the National Anthem, no doubt about it. Standing during the National Anthem isn’t a requirement for patriotism, and if it’s upsetting the president enough that he’s going to tweet about it, he can do something about what’s being protested. 

If Trump wants NFL players to stop kneeling and boycotting the anthem, he can easily implement the changes and police overhaul needed. He’s the president, and that seems to be what Trump thinks the president is capable of.

However, Trump also pointed out a hypocritical flaw that the NFL must now deal with. Before Trump called for the boycott of the NFL over perfectly legal and protected speech, the NFL didn’t care. 

It wasn’t their fight. 

When money is threatened, the NFL will turn their noses up. 

It’s odd, isn’t it? The NFL owners turned their backs on Kaepernick when he protested, said it was unpatriotic.

 Nobody wanted to sign the quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl. Nobody wanted the gifted athlete in Kaepernick because of his protests. But when the president of the U.S. calls for a boycott of the league over the protest he started, you’re all for protecting it? Give me a break, NFL. While Trump is the main concern, the NFL is showing both of its face in the debate, too. 

When Donald Trump is out of office, we’ll look back on this incident as one of the more baffling moments of his presidency, just completely and utterly embarrassing for every group involved, sans the protestors. Keep kneeling, keep the message going. 

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