When the head of an American professional sports league deigns to lecture the president of the United States for his criticism of players who are openly disrespecting the flag and the country, while taunting and insulting fans, our society has reached a point of decay from which there is no return.
As you may know, in recent weeks President Donald J. Trump, stung and upset by the spectacle of scores of mostly black NFL players kneeling, sitting or standing with a fist held high to denote “black power” during the National Anthem, has been deeply critical of their behavior, calling it what it is: offensive, divisive and unpatriotic.
Granted, to some the president crossed a line when he said during a political rally in Alabama two weeks ago that owners should call down to coaches on the sidelines when players protest and tell them to “get that son-of-a-b**ch off the field. But in doing so, Trump was merely using popular vernacular in strongly making a point most American football fans are trying to make: The player behavior is not only disrespectful of the flag, the country, and the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have died defending us, but it is wholly inappropriate.
You’d think owners and the league’s highest official, commissioner Roger Goodell, would be more upset at the players and not a president who is speaking for the tens of millions of football fans who don’t have a voice and are upset about the “protests,” which are loosely tied to “social justice.” (Related: In private, NFL owners are clashing over players protesting the country.)
But no. Rather, the owners have (so far) sided with their players, and Goodell had chastising words for Trump.
As reported by The Hill, Goodell actually blamed the president, and not the players, for being “divisive.”
“The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture,” Goodell said in a statement. “There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month.
“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,” he continued.
First of all, these protests did not begin during the Trump era, they began during the Obama era. Last fall, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who hasn’t been able to land a spot back in the NFL since leaving the team after last season — began taking a knee during the anthem as a way of protesting police treatment of black men. He even went so far as to wear socks to practice one time that depicted pigs wearing police hats. The protests spread at the beginning of the current season, which began with practice games in August.
Secondly, there can be nothing as “divisive” and non-unifying as protesting the National Anthem. So it’s inappropriate for Goodell, who isn’t popular with fans or players, to imply that Trump is the one being divisive, when the players started all of this.
Also, if the NFL wants “respect” and its players want “respect,” that’s a two-way street, Mr. NFL Commissioner. If the league, the owners and the players are not going to show respect for their own country, even when playing in a foreign country, how in the world can they expect respect in return? That’s just stupid.
Finally, while NFL teams may have, at one time, been “overwhelming” forces for good in communities, they have substantially eroded that goodwill with decidedly anti-American protests.
The fact that Goodell and players don’t seem to understand the implications of their actions is perhaps the most mind-boggling aspect of all in this entire mess. Follow more news on identity politics at IdentityPolitics.news.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.