My turn to weigh in on the national anthem protests…
Let’s go back to what started all this. Collin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the playing of the national anthem before his San Francisco 49ers started a game last year. He said he was protesting the rash of shootings of unarmed black men, which carried varying degrees of justification, from none to plenty. It made military veterans very angry, seeing it as a sign of disrespect for what they had fought for. Kaepernick made things worse for himself in 3 ways. Soon after the initial protest, he appeared in pregame warmups wearing socks with pictures of pigs in police uniforms. Sometime later, he appeared for an interview wearing a t-shirt with words that were sympathetic to Fidel Castro. Then, when he got on the field, he stunk up the joint. His team went 2-14 and refused to pick up the option on his contract, making him a free agent.
As the offseason progressed, news outlets and sports forums run by people holding liberal ideology ran daily stories that Kaepernick had been black-balled by NFL owners because of the anthem protest. No one found it relevant to link the protest, the socks, the t-shirt, and his sub-par play that taken together would make a very poor case for Kaepernick should be on a team. No, it was the anthem protest only. He knelt during the anthem and people in power were colluding to keep him unemployed. Other players, who bought in to this narrative, started doing similar protests. The public in general showed a strong distaste for the protest, further fueling the liberals’ belief that it was the anthem only that was the reason. The number of protesters continued to grow, and the public outcry became louder.
President Trump spoke of his distain for the protest at a rally in Huntsville AL on September 22. he said, “Don’t you wish one of these NFL owners, when one of the players disrespects our country, would say, ‘get that son of a bitch off the field. He’s fired! FIRED!’ ”
The President went too far. There was no need at all to use profanity in that situation. He had the knowledge that the majority of sports fans agree with his position, but he took it to an extreme place it didn’t need to go. Now there was a new fuel for the protest fire. Liberals, who already hate the President and will oppose every word and deed that comes from him, no matter if it is good or not, could now expand the protests as a giant middle finger to the President. For the NFL games on September 24, every team had at least some members that continued the protest. People add relevant verbiage to their statements, but the kneeling for the anthem is no longer about police brutality or oppression of blacks. It is now a protest to the existence of President Trump. If you hate him, that’s fine. But don’t hijack the anthem protest and make it a referendum on your approval of Trump. The questions about shootings of unarmed people by police, and the general “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality we regularly see in such confrontations from law enforcement are genuine, serious, legitimate discussions we need to have. If you want to protest that, you are free to do so, even if others don’t like it. I won’t like it, but will greatly prefer it to you coming to my town and tearing crap up.
Oh, and if you do intend to protest in this manner, you will generate much more sympathy to your cause if you don’t show up in the future wearing “Cops are Pigs” socks and “Castro wasn’t all that bad” t-shirts. And whatever job you have, don’t suck at it.