Opinion - Trump's Words on NBA, NFL Will Strengthen Players Resolve

By Joseph R. Gougherty | September 24, 2017 |

Another week has passed, and as sure as the Earth is round, President Donald Trump has provided us with more cannon fodder in the form of divisive rhetoric. 

Besides going to Twitter to war with Kim Jong Un and criticizing the Iran Arms deal, he proceeded to criticize NFL players who were kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence and address racial inequality. President Trump asked, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now.’” 

Trump made it clear NFL team owners, the majority of whom are Caucasian males, should fire these players who are primarily African-American. He even referred to them as "sons of bitches," which would lead one to believe that Colin Kaepernick, perhaps the most well-known NFL activist ever, has a mother who by Donald Trump's standards is a "bitch." 

Kaepernick’s mother Teresa is his adoptive mother and has remained extremely supportive of her son’s protests. Trump received a lot of backlash a month ago when he failed to condemn white supremacists rallying in Charlottesville, saying "there were a lot of fine people on both sides."It seems he is okay with free speech being used for hateful or even racist reasons, but when black NFL players use their platform to make a statement, all of them are sons of bitches. 

It is not that even a few of them could be "very fine people" like our white supremacists in Charlottesville who were rubbing shoulders with KKK members that day. When one views this in a broader view, it is easy to see what Trump has done, or failed to do. He has failed to address the core values of both white supremacists and kneeling NFL players. 

The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville protested the removal of Civil War statues that mean nothing more than a reminder of a racist America, especially to many of its black residents. NFL players like Colin Kaepernick and Martellus Bennett kneel during the anthem for a variety of reasons, one being police brutality, especially against innocent black people. 

Donald Trump has proven that he is sympathetic to white supremacists defending a racist history that they are proud of, but if you are an NFL player who opposes police brutality and wants racial equality then your up shits creek without a paddle. He has already advocated for police to use more force, specifically in a speech on Long Island to police in service. No doubt that this will shape up to be a politically inclined sports season, with NBA champion Golden State Warriors declining their visit to the White House. 

The Donald's rhetoric speaks for much of his supporters, and I do not believe it will affect the NFL players negatively but rather strengthen their resolve, as well as putting owners in the hot seat to finally take a stand. The fact that our president is fueling the flame to this fire can lead one to assume that the gap between Trumps supporters and people who oppose racism or police violence will only widen.

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

At the end of the day, pro sports is just a form of entertainment and the athletes are merely entertainers. Why people get worked up about all this befuddles me. Remote controls have a channel selection button, so if we don't like that entertainment, just change the channel!

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