The recent controversy of NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem has been the main topic of the NFL for the past couple of weeks.
President Donald Trump was fast as lightning to jump on, not just players, but also the teams and the NFL as a whole. The president has shown a quicker and blunter response to these protests than he has to the hurricane damage in Puerto Rico or the white supremacists/ANTIFA members that have been causing havoc as of late.
In the grand scheme of things, the NFL anthem protests are simply an exercise of the rights that America stands for. These rights are clear just by reading the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of speech, peaceful protests, the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances and so on.
It is one thing to not agree with the protests, but Trump wants players to be fired for not blindly following an anthem. This is incredibly anti-American, especially from the president of the free world.
According to Politico, Trump has said, “You cannot have people disrespecting our national anthem, our flag, our country,” and that the NFL’s business is going to “go to hell” if they do not change.
The disturbing aspect of this is how Trump’s fixation with the protests has taken center stage over more important matters, such as the recent violence in protests and the hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. commonwealth. Trump also was slow on criticizing the white supremacists and even ANTIFA members that were breaking the rules of a peaceful protest.
It is important to understand that violence outside of self-defense, no matter what side of the political spectrum, is wrong. While I don’t believe Trump is as racist as he is often made out to be, it is evident that he is discriminatory. Both white supremacists and ANTIFA were guilty of violence in the recent protests that have been occurring. He was faster to call out ANTIFA than he was in calling out white supremacists. Unsurprisingly, Trump was quick to condemn the mainly African-American NFL players, in which his response was not only quick but really passionate.
This comes to show that no matter how important a situation is, someone of importance can divert the conversation to something of arguably lesser importance.