Players Who Don’t Stand Don’t Belong in America, Trump Says
It appears that Donald Trump is an avid supporter of the new NFL policy on the national anthem. So much so that he openly expressed his take on the matter by saying that the players who choose not to stand should probably not be in the country. He discussed the matter with reporters and said, “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
For quite some time, Trump has been openly opposed to players demonstrating during the national anthem. He even wanted NFL owners to fire Colin Kaepernick for starting the kneeling movement. Which makes it odd that Trump has openly bragged his opposition to the Vietnam War; a movement whose favorite ritual was burning the American flag.
The latest policy was announced last Wednesday by the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. The new policy will require both players and personnel to stand for the National Anthem or face a couple of fines. The policy has a provision where teams are allowed to come up with its own work rules once players fail to comply with the policy.
Colin Kaepernick, then a San Francisco 49ers quarterback, came into the spotlight when he declined to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016. He mentioned that the key reason he was refusing to stand was that he could not bring himself to honor a song or show pride in the flag of a nation that oppresses black people and people of color.
When quizzed by reporters whether his protest likely led to the NFL implementing the new rules, Trump replied by saying he would rather “the people” get credited for the move. “I think the people pushed it forward. This was not me. I brought it out. I think the people pushed this forward,” Trump said. “This country is very smart. We have very smart people.”
Trumps latest comments on the matter paint his actions as a racist feud that has gone well and truly over the limits. They remarkably came right after Trump warned a room full of people about the dangerous menace of immigrant children last Wednesday.
On Monday, Trump announced that he intended to cancel the Eagle’s visit over the controversy about standing during the National Anthem at NFL games instead of willfully hosting a “Celebration of America” event. He then proceeded to tout other championship teams that visited the White House during his tenure as president.
The decision to disinvite the Eagles from the celebration was made abruptly on Monday once the White House learned that very few players would actually be attending the event. Earlier on, the Eagles had informed White House officials that about 81 people from the organization would attend the celebration.
Later on, they changed the tune to about less than 10 people, including coaches and athletic trainers who were expected to be in attendance. Infuriated, Trump decided to cancel the ceremony altogether and conduct one in honor of the national anthem. His move seems inspired by political foresight on his part, he was well aware how posing with less than a dozen players would look like.
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