Trump’s relentless attacks on NFL protestors have a deeper, more personal source than anyone could have predicted.
In the mere five weeks of this year’s NFL season, Trump and his supporters have been relentlessly attacking players who kneel in protest during the National Anthem.
“We respect our flag. 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?”
Trump’s slew of statements and tweets condemn the peaceful protests as disrespectful to the flag, the anthem, and our soldiers. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” the pioneer of the protest, Colin Kaepernick said, explaining his cause. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way.”
Trump continuously fails to recognize the true meaning behind the protests, alienating players’ solidarity with those experiencing racial injustice in America.
Trump told fans to “leave the stadium” if they’re at the game and see the players take a knee, urging his supporters to counter-protest the NFL for not taking action to punish players who protest.
This past Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence staged a walkout under Trump’s advisement after players took a knee at the Indianapolis Colts game.
What’s Happening Now:
ESPN’s Stephen Smith is now saying that Trump has “successfully hijacked” the National Football League’s recent issue of players kneeling the National Anthem because NFL owners denied him entry into the league decades ago.
On ESPN’s “First Take”, Smith said that the president’s vicious attacks are rooted in Trump’s failure to have the USFL (United States Football League) merge with the NFL back in the 1980s.
Trump was the owner of the New Jersey Generals when he pushed for the merge before the league shut down. He attempted to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014, but his bid fell short to Terrence Pegula.
“His real agenda is going at the NFL community that didn’t let him in that good old boy’s club,” Smith said. “They didn’t let him in in the 1980s when he was an owner in the USFL. He has a history of exacting retribution to those who didn’t make him money.”
Smith also pointed out that Trump has completely redirected the focus from the protestors true stance against racial inequality to making it all about the flag and national anthem. Trump has gained support from Americans who believe players are being disrespectful in their protest.
“The president has successfully hijacked this issue,” Smith said. “He turned it into an issue about patriotism and beyond. He is catering to his base in the process.”
The ESPN host suggested that NFL players should find a new way to protest racial injustice on the field since Trump “has turned it into something the players didn’t intend to.”
“They have to find a different mechanism to have their voices heard. Because Trump has won this round,” Smith said, explaining how the president has alienated the cause to near beyond recognition.
H/T: The Hill