Donald Trump has weighed in on professional football players’ conduct while listening to the National Anthem being played before the start of NFL games.
Fire ’em if they sit or kneel while “The Star Spangled Banner” is being played, he said at a Huntsville, Ala., political rally this week.
According to CNN: Trump said NFL owners should respond to the players by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!”
This whole discussion began a year ago when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the Anthem to protest the country’s treatment of African-American citizens.
Count me as one American who was appalled at Kaepernick’s disrespectful display. I thought he acted stupidly at the time. He is free to express his political views, but I just didn’t like the manner in which he chose to do it.
However, what he did was legal. Not only that, it’s guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to protest in any peaceful manner they wish. If they want to burn Old Glory in the town square as a form of political speech, that’s allowed, too. Just don’t do it in my presence.
The president’s urging of NFL owners to fire players who sit during the Anthem ignores the First Amendment guarantee of a cherished civil right.
I could argue that the president simply should keep his trap shut when it concerns such matters, except that the First Amendment damn sure gives him the right to speak his piece, too.
Then again, Donald Trump isn’t just your average Joe. He is the president of the United States of America, which gives his words a lot more weight than those that come from some shmuck blogger out here in Flyover Country.
Oh, the price of living in a free society.