"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,’”
-Donald Trump to an Alabama Crowd 9/22.
I have a simple question to ask everyone. Is Colin Kaepernick the first athlete to protest during the U.S. National Anthem?
The answer is no. Standing on the Gold and Bronze medal podium, during the 1968 Olympics, US sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, lowered their heads and donning a black glove raised a fist to the sky. Just like Kaepernick last year, they did it to protest social inequality in America.
Protesting during the Anthem is not a new phenomena. As such, it’s hard to comprehend the outcry. Before this past weekend, it was a small select handful of players choosing to protest.
Donald Trump actions this past weekend did the impossible. (I can not in good conscience refer to him, as President Trump, given his actions.) He made me respect the NFL Commissioner, and the NFL Team Owners. A significant number of owners, released statements supporting the protests, and were with the players on the field Sunday. These are billionaires that get taxpayer money to build stadiums, which they profit off of. Our President managed to make them the good guys in this situation.
Donald Trump changed the issue of the protests this week. Instead of inequality or police brutality, Trump changed it into a freedom of speech and expression issue.
Whether you like it or not, people have the right to protest during the National Anthem. Period the end. That is a fundamental right given in the Bill of Rights. It is the First Amendment, because it is the most important issue the Founding Fathers realized they needed to add to the Constitution.
Whether you agree with NFL players right to protest during the Anthem, is irrelevant. They have the right. You can disagree with what they are protesting, but how can you disagree with the idea that inequality and police brutality are fundamentally bad. Therefore, should not exist in this country?
To be entirely honest, I don’t know if Donald Trump actually cares about the protests during the Anthem. Earlier this week, he threatened Nuclear War with North Korea, over Twitter. The Republicans also had another Health Care reform bill fail in the senate. This was due to three Senators, from their own party, coming out in opposition to the bill.
Donald Trump is a TV man. He knows the audience will focus on the biggest Sh*t-Storm at the moment. If Trump makes comments about the biggest sports league in the country, it’s going to capture the media’s attention. This is all a distraction, from the fact that he’s starting a war, and his party can’t actually accomplish a single goal on their agenda.
This article, shouldn’t have had to be written. In this country, people are too naive to realize what is happening. Whether it’s our education system, or our ego’s, or our stubbornness, something failed a significant portion of the population. Now we have to explain to those people, that protesting during the Anthem is something the Founding Fathers would have no issue with. There is a difference protesting the Anthem, and protesting during the Anthem. No one is protesting the Anthem, everyone is doing the latter.
Finally for those who wish to argue, that everyone should stand during the Anthem, out of respect for those who served; I will leave you with the words of Pat Tillman’s widow. Pat Tillman was an NFL Player, who retired to serve in the military after 9/11, and was killed during service to the Country.
"It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together. Pat's service, along with that of every man and woman's service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that. Those that serve fight for the American ideals of freedom, justice and democracy. They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day.”
"The very action of self-expression and the freedom to speak from one's heart -- no matter those views -- is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for,”
Check Our Facts!
Source 1: http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/23/media/donald-trump-nfl-protest-backlash/index.html
Source 2: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/22/donald-trump-nfl-national-anthem-protests
Source 1: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/09/24/they-didnt-takeaknee-the-black-power-protest-salute-that-shook-the-world-in-1968/?utm_term=.37e01d32899c
Source 2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_Olympics_Black_Power_salute
Tillman’s Widow’s Quote
Source 1: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/09/26/553712302/pat-tillmans-widow-pushes-back-on-trump-nfl-tweet
Source 2: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/20821267/marie-tillman-widow-pat-tillman-asks-husband-memory-not-politicized