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People are missing the point on Trump's National Football League anthem-protest crusade

01 Octubre 2017, 12:18 | Bibiana Flor

Greg Nash

Army investigating West Point grad’s pro-communist social media posts

The president provoked outrage in the National Football League (NFL) after he suggested players who failed to stand during the USA anthem should be sacked. We could also hear some negativity being yelled during the anthem.

While we can't specify if this decrease is due to the President's comments, player and owner protests, play on the field, or simply the continued division of consumer's media attention; the conversation around the National Football League, this week, has focused on the President's comments as well as the players' and owners' reaction. These are things that have been taught because of the First Amendment For someone that's in the military to be able to say I fought for your rights to do this, why are we so upset?

In Pittsburgh, only one player - Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who lost brothers in arms fighting under that flag - came out of the locker room to stand for the anthem. The fans' response? Sales of Villanueva jerseys skyrocketed.


"By no means, by no way shape or form, was there any disrespect intended towards our troops and those who serve this country", he told ESPN, adding the team has "the utmost respect for them". "As a (Navy) veteran, I'm very offended that anyone would disrespect our flag". I worry that in the past couple of days, people have been more frustrated with Trump than the actual inequity that caused Colin not to stand. A whopping 40 percent said that the protests make them less likely to watch the NFL. Attend a rally. Speak out on Twitter. "But to suggest that he's racist or whatever label they want to put on him, I think it's just being intellectually dishonest". But don't show contempt for the flag.

Beginning with the record-breaking Women's March on Washington one day after the inauguration of President Trump, large protests and opinions on those protests have been thrust into the nation's eye. Sure. Were they politically calculated?

Yes, athletes do have a constitutional right to engage in speech that is offensive to millions of Americans. We live in a democracy, and we have the right to express our views.


Perhaps nothing was more impactful than the Dallas Cowboys' response before their Monday Night Football matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. He would also be fired.

Player protesting during the national anthem started in August 2016 with Colin Kaepernick, the then-49ers quarterback who remains a free agent. Equally bullish are those who explained why they won't be kneeling for the national anthems (including black Canadian athletes like Joel Ward and P.K. Subban in the NHL). As more people "take a knee", let's remember the original inspiration for this quiet act of defiance: the hundreds of unarmed people of color killed by police every year, and the need to build a movement to stop it. When Reid resumed his anthem protest last month before an exhibition in Minnesota, Kaepernick tweeted his support: "My Brother (Reid) speaking truth to power!" Perhaps Republicans angry over anthem protests will now be willing to join them? For what it's worth, TV ratings for the NFL were up in Week 3, though it remains to be seen whether leagues face any long-term business effects as a result of no longer just sticking to sports.

It was not until his third preseason game a year ago, on August 26, that people began to notice that he was sitting for the anthem.




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