Tag Archives: take a knee

Who loves the country more?

As long as we’re talking about “respect” for the flag, the country and our “great military” …

I want to interject a brief point about where I see this discussion heading.

Donald John Trump canceled a visit by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles this week because many of the players dislike his criticism of those who protest police brutality against African-American citizens. He then wanted to stage a rally that called attention to love of country.

Fine. But why are some of us casting doubt on the players’ love of country? Why do we presume they intend to disrespect our military men and women or that they don’t love the country that gives them the right to protest in the manner they choose?

I am not presuming any such thing, but I am hearing such presumption coming from the president and those who endorse his view that pro sports team owners ought to “fire the son of a bi*** who doesn’t stand during the playing of the National Anthem.

This is unfair in the extreme to make such a presumption about the athletes who are as entitled to speak out as any citizen.

Love of country takes many forms. You have the “love it or leave it” mantra on one end coming from those who believe the nation is without flaw, that it cannot improve, that we shouldn’t strive to achieve “a more perfect Union.”

You also have those who recite another mantra that seeks to make this country better than it is. I consider myself a patriot who loves this country more than any other nation on Earth. I went to war for my country and I make no apology for any criticism I choose to level at those make decisions on my behalf while serving in the government for which I am ultimately responsible.

To question the motivation or the patriotism of those of us who find fault with our leaders and who seek a different path toward effective governance is, dare I say, un-American.

Trump tells Eagles to stay away? Good grief!

Donald J. Trump’s petulance has reached an astonishing level, although it’s hard any longer to keep up with his guy’s sense of outrage.

He has told the Philadelphia Eagles to stay away Tuesday from the White House. The Super Bowl champions were supposed to show up for a little ceremony, some happy talk from the president about their athletic prowess. They were going to have a few laughs, exchange some good tidings with the sports fan in chief.

Oh, but that “take a knee” matter got in the way. Some of the Eagles were going to boycott the meeting because of Trump’s public shaming of pro football players who kneel during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” before a game. They protest police conduct and their enforcing the law when it involves African-Americans.

According to NBC News: In an unusual statement early Monday evening, Trump said the Eagles “disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”

The National Football League has just instituted a policy requiring players to stand during the Anthem’s playing. Trump applauded the NFL decision.

Good grief. Now the president has taken it all to a new level by telling the Philadelphia Eagles to, um, just stay away.

I just want to remind the president that the players’ protest has nothing at all to do with honoring the “great men and women of our military.” It has to do with a perception of police brutality. The athletes, as near as I can tell, are protesting peaceably.

And I am quite certain that every single one of them loves our country as much as the president does. They just want to see some changes made.

What is so terrible about that?

That’s what it was, Mr. VPOTUS: a political stunt

Vice President Mike Pence certainly knew what would take place when he went to a pro football game today.

He knew some of the players would “take a knee” while they struck up “Star Spangled Banner.” He knew some of the San Francisco 49ers would protest, along with some of the Indianapolis Colts.

He knew that would happen. But he showed up anyway at the game in Indianapolis — only to walk out because, as he said, he wouldn’t “dignify” a disrespecting of the flag, our country, our men and women in uniform, our Constitution.

Good grief! What we saw today was an act of political grandstanding.

An Indianapolis Star sports columnist also was right to question why Pence showed up in the first place and why he decided to expend a good bit of taxpayer money — with the requisite security and other things associated with the vice president’s traveling contingent.

Using high office to score political points

It’s not as though presidents and vice presidents don’t occasionally use their high office for political gain. I get that it’s happened before.

But this stunt that Pence pulled today was so transparently phony it boggles the mind. He wanted to make a statement that the players who are protesting are somehow “disrespecting” the nation that allows them to do the very thing they are doing.

Lest we forget, the protest — which began this pas season when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the National Anthem — is intended to protest police treatment of African-American citizens. I’ll stipulate that I am not pleased with the form of protest mounted. I wish the players would find another way to make their point.

However, their demonstration is not meant to dishonor the flag, or the country, or our brave fighting men and women. To suggest it does all of that is to cheapen a legitimate form of political protest.

For the vice president of the United States to make a big show of it in the first place only heightens the phoniness of his own declaration of disgust.