Donald J. Trump is sounding like he’s issuing some sort of veiled threat against pro football players who don’t stand for the National Anthem.
My question is this: What’s he going to do about it?
According to The Associated Press: Amid a series of tweets Saturday against criticism of the federal response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, the president returned to the world of sports and society: “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country!”
AP is reporting that the president won’t tolerate any further protests by these athletes.
What’s the next step? Is the president going to declare martial law and suspend the rights of the athletes to protest what they believe is racial inequality in the enforcement of the law? Lest we forget, that is the original object of the players’ protests that began this past season when quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled while the anthem was being played.
I just wish the president would stick to more important and relevant matters. I can think of quite a few: North Korea, tax reform and, oh yeah, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands devastation brought by Hurricane Maria.
Here is what House Speaker Paul Ryan said, according to the AP:
“I do really believe his heart’s in the right place,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“I think what matters is that we have to show people that we are an inclusive society, that we want everyone to succeed,” he said. Ryan also acknowledged that the original point of the player demonstration — racial injustice and police mistreatment of African-Americans — has become obscured by the narrower issue of how to act during the anthem.
“I think we should just have separate and distinct conversations. Because when you merge it into the flag and the anthem, it’s lost,” Ryan said.
Put another way: This story has spiraled out of control.