Trump vs. The NFL
By Forrest Hunt
Posted on November 8, 2017 at 7:04 PM
Over the preseason weeks of the NFL season, the players have been protesting by “taking a knee” for the national anthem. The protests have now carried into the NFL season and United States President Donald Trump has taken a disliking to the idea. Many of Trump’s comments have been perceived as personal attacks on the players and have come across as non-patriotic, and as threats to our first amendment rights as Americans.
This movement in the NFL started in the 2016 season with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and has more recently been carried by Michael Bennett of the Seattle Seahawks this season. Now in week 4 of the NFL season, there has been a league-wide participation in demonstrating concern with the oppression of African Americans in the United States.
At first it was only a few players across the league displaying their concern, but since Trump made some nasty comments, it has become a league-wide protest. According to Politico Trump reportedly said, “I think it’s very disrespectful to our country and I think it’s very, very disrespectful to our flag.” NFL players have clearly stated that it’s not the flag that they are protesting. In fact, if anything, they’re respecting the flag and the people who have died for it because the players are using their first amendment right which is freedom of speech and protest, which was what those people in uniform were fighting and died for. According to the players, they feel they are respecting the flag.
Many involved with these franchises are disappointed. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was one of few to comment on the President’s statements, “I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President,” according to Politico. In a week 3 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans, both teams stayed in the locker room during the national anthem to avoid any conflict with who was and wasn’t standing. During the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals game, both teams took a knee on the field, locked in arms in support of the NFL taking the brunt of Donald Trump’s comments. The Seahawks told reporters, “We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.”
Some wonder why President Trump is focusing so much energy on the NFL when the country has bigger problems such as victims in Puerto Rico after the hurricane. Players feel attacked for the reason that the National Football League is 70% African American. Donald Trump has rejected the assumption that his comments have to do with race. He told reporters of Politico, “This has nothing to do with race. I never said anything about race.”
We know that this started with just a few players protesting but it elevated after President Donald Trump got involved. The NFL as an organization as a whole has decided to take a stand, or kneel, in protest of the President’s comments including these, reported by CNN, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch of the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired.’ And that owner they don’t know it yet but they’ll be the most popular person in this country.” To many players this has been taken as a personal attack. Since those comments have been made many owners have taken a stand against him such as Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots.
Many disagree with the President’s comments, such as those involved with the NFL. those against Trump’s comments also believe that he should redirect his focus to glaring issues in the United States instead of attacking our professional athletes. With that being said the players are not disrespecting the flag, in fact they are exercising their right to express their feelings about our President and our country using their first amendment rights.
Cover Photo: Sky Sports