By JUSTIN RIMPI
Up until this point, the 2017 NFL season has been anything but normal. The NFL is used to tremendous publicity and scrutiny, but the league has never been under such a microscope.
It goes back to the protesting during the national anthem that is still going on, and does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
The protesting during the National Anthem began with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who chose to kneel to bring attention to the killing of unarmed black people at the hand of white police officers with no convictions ever coming to fruition. Kaepernick thought that if he knelt during the national anthem, it would bring attention to this issue.
Kaepernick’s protest has served its purpose in getting the country to discuss the unjust killing of black people, but it has cost him his job in the NFL.
Whether Kaepernick will have a job this season, or ever again, is still yet to be determined. The fact that Kaepernick does not have a job, even as a backup quarterback, shows the NFL is not afraid to make a lesson out of him. NFL players have to be very careful not to deviate from how the league would like its players to act.
The current chain of events began when President Donald Trump said on Sept. 22 that NFL players who choose to protest during the playing of the national anthem should be red. His rationale behind such a divisive statement is that these individuals choosing to protest are not showing the proper respect to the American flag. Trump also went on to say that if an NFL player protested, the NFL owners should, “Get that son of a bitch o the eld right now! He’s red.”
As if the president’s misguided comments to re protesting NFL players were not enough, he continued to use coarse language to describe American people carrying out their Constitutional right. In this scenario, the President’s word choice undermined the position of his office.
In order to compensate for what the president believes is a tremendous disservice, these individuals would have to be put into their place and conform to what he believes America should be like and how the citizens should behave.
Trump is wrong for the plain and simple reason that the United States Constitution allows the players to engage in this type of behavior. The First Amendment permits individuals to peacefully protest. Whether Americans agree with the protesting or not, the fact of the matter is that they are entitled to do it. The fact that the president would like to re NFL players for doing something the Constitution allows them to do is truly a terrible thing to recommend.
It is just another one of Trump’s outlandish statements that looks to take attention away from his lack of legislative accomplishments thus far in his presidency.
These statements, in addition to much more, paved the way for tremendous solidarity between NFL players, owners and executives during Week 3 of the current NFL season.
In such a divisive time in the country, most of which is due to the president, it was very refreshing to see so many players stand together with one another in support of a particular cause. That particular cause is the NFL’s response to the president’s strong word choice about their players and his assertion that they should be red for practicing their First Amendment right.
There was not a unified way in which the league decided to protest during Week 3. Some teams refused to come out of the locker room while the National Anthem was being played. Other teams locked arms with one another, and some players once again chose
to kneel in order to express their displeasure with what is currently going on in the United States.
In addition to the president being wrong about his assertion that NFL players who protest should be red, he has bigger things to worry about, considering the fact that he is the 45th President of the United States.
His tenure thus far has not gone smoothly and his words continue to divide a nation that needs to see its president bring people together instead of continuing to divide them.
Trump and his battle with the NFL makes absolutely no sense. The fact the president is calling for U.S. citizens to boycott the nation’s biggest sport is a waste of his time. He should focus on helping the United States regain its reputation as a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
The country has seen its stature in the world dwindle since Jan. 20, the day in which Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.
Hopefully, the president will curtail his attack on the NFL and focus on being the best leader he could be. Because if the president wants to truly “Make America Great Again,” these petty squabbles must stop.