In yet another divisive week in politics, President Donald Trump decided to shift his emphasis from the Capitol and took aim at the NFL during a speech in Alabama this past Friday. During this speech, Trump shifted his attention to the “disrespect” of certain NFL players who silently protested the national anthem, calling Colin Kaepernick, among the few, a “son of a b—h,” and saying these players should be “fired.” While it may come across as disrespectful to our country that players are choosing to not even come out on the field for the national anthem, given all of the protests that have happened in Charlottesville, Va., these players are justified in protesting the state of the country as well by neglecting to say their national anthem prior to their games.
In a nation where the rights of minorities have been trampled on throughout our history and the president refuses to condemn the hateful actions and reactions taken by radical hate groups, interlocking arms and taking a knee during our nation’s national anthem should be the least of our worries when nuclear tensions are heightening with North Korea and our country is struggling to recover after a vicious hurricane season.
To the players of the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, who remained in their locker rooms during the national anthem, we understand your frustration with the harmful words of President Trump and continue to support your form of protest, even though many have cast ill wishes on your alternate decision to silently protest. These protests go beyond the separation of liberal and conservative, and Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter; this argument stretches to the core of the American spirit that stresses individuality and the freedom of choice. We are lucky to live in a country where we are free to air our frustrations towards the government without facing some sort of disciplinary action, or forced against our scruples to pledge allegiance to a country that wrongs the people it claims to stand for.
So for as long as President Trump decides that these sons of b—hes aren’t representative of his ideal “democracy” and should be fired by the NFL for their disrespect, we will continue to stand, kneel and interlock arms with both players and one another in hopes that one day, our nation will exist in unison, and fully live by the mantra of “by the people, for the people.” However, let’s remember the people who are overseas keeping our country safe. We hope that everyone can keep them in their hearts by dedicating the national anthem to the fighting troops rather than thinking of a president who they do not approve of.