If you were hoping to relax and enjoy a nice game of football, beer in hand, chanting the national anthem with your homies to get away from the over-politicised world we now live in, think again.
That old flame was reignited with President Trump’s comment about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem at his recent speech in Alabama “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”.
Flashback to 1 year ago when Colin Kaepernick begun to kneel at NFL games during the anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. This action of his wasn’t very well received by the general public and died out with time.
Removed by the San Francisco 49ers, this form of protest was seen as beyond the pale; a 19 million dollar a year quarterback disrespecting an anthem and flag that stands for Freedom, Liberty, and Justice by saying it oppresses blacks. Kaepernick, a black athlete, is so systematically oppressed in the United States that his salary is more than $50,000 per day. He was not segregated from the NFL, nor is the NFL segregated. Blacks are a majority in the NFL, despite making up 13% of the U.S. population. Affirmative Action, anyone?
Like a lightbulb to a moth, the President’s words sparked a new movement of over 200 NFL players kneeling during games these past few weeks.
Here’s where it gets interesting, or rather, as we have seen from the now regressive left since President Trump’s victory: typical.
“He attacks black athletes” said 2 time defeated Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton on MSNBC.
Following these comments, a wave of left wing mainstream media personalities trumpeted a narrative of absurd reasons as to how not only Trump but supposedly “predominantly white NFL supporters”, and even the U.S.A. as a whole, are a bunch of racists if they don’t “take a knee”.
Reality check: this isn’t a race issue. This is about respect.
Once again, we have the left dividing people into demographic silos in order to appeal to them (black, female, LGBT, religious etc.) instead of seeing them on a individual basis.
The initial issue at hand is however no longer the focus; the vehicle of the protest is. This movement very quickly morphed into something new on social media and in the stadiums, part of the left now framing this as a free speech issue as if the NFL players’ right to kneel was ever put into question.
At this point, the movement has turned into a protest against President Trump and whatever he may say, even if in their favour, they chose to remain deaf to the President’s words a few days later: “I think they can find better places – but they cannot do it during the national anthem.” The interesting aspect of this is the already falling viewership of the NFL, and the counter protests of lifelong fans burning season tickets, jerseys and memorabilia.
It comes as no surprise that President Trump has no filter when he decides to open his mouth (which happens a lot) or update his followers’ Twitter feeds. He has been known to hold some slippery statements on racial issues before, but this is most certainly not a case in point. The left made it about race, not him. Polls on the left and right have shown that a majority of Americans disapprove of disturbance during the national anthem as this is a true mark of disrespect for the flag, the anthem, the army; the few precious things still in common between the people of this divided nation.
With that said, as a government official, he shouldn’t be calling for people to be fired. But as long as he doesn’t act on any of these sorts of statements, it falls under the scope of freedom of speech granted in the 1st amendment of the Constitution. The same amendment that allows players to express themselves just as much.
It is funny to watch all this uproar about free speech on the left when nothing was said or done about Google firing its engineering employee James Damore for exercising his right to free speech by voicing his opinion on biological gender differences in the workplace.
This is just more proof of the sad state of the left’s view on free speech today. The left will let you say whatever you want, as long as you don’t oppose their opinion or trigger them.
“C’mon folks, it’s current year, you bigot.”
President Trump’s election proves that the average American does not care for identity politics, and refuses to be chastised by the so-called coastal elites. Instead of sticking to football and inclusivity of its fanbase from diverse identities, as other sports organisations have done (see: FIFA), the NFL have fumbled this particular political football.