With his scandals multiplying and the Special Counsel closing in, Trump is once again leaning into one of his favorite distraction strategies: reigniting the culture war and exacerbating our national divides.
Digging deep into his Mary Poppins bag of imagined grievances, the president pulled out an old source of contention and dusted it off by once again whining about NFL players choosing to kneel during the national anthem in protest of police violence against people of color.
Earlier today, Trump said that players who refuse to stand for the anthem “maybe” shouldn’t even be in the country, once again demonstrating how little he respects the First Amendment.
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“I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, I think it’s good. 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,” said Trump.
His undemocratic comments came the day after the NFL announced that players who chose to kneel during the national anthem will be hit with a hefty fine. To avoid the choice of kneeling or standing, those who object will be permitted to remain in the locker room during the duration of the song.
Now, The Hill reports that head coach of the Golden State Warriors is taking a stand for his players. Steven Kerr told reporters exactly what the thinks of the NFL’s decision to ban protest kneeling. He’s not impressed. Kerr believes the real reason for the “controversy” is to for the president to push “fake patriotism” and “nationalism” to consolidate power.
“They’re basically trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It’s idiotic, but that’s how the NFL has handled their business. I’m proud to be in a league that understands patriotism in America is about free speech, peacefully protesting,” said Kerr.
Kerr should be commended for having the courage to stand up for his players’ right to free speech and for calling out this entire public relations circus for what it is. It’s not sincere outrage, it’s a cynical attempt by Trump and his enablers to drive another wedge through the center of our culture and unite his gullible base around him. They shouldn’t be taken seriously and every patriotic American must defend these players.
Steve Kerr went hard at the NFL's recent change in the National Anthem policy.
"I just think it's typical of the NFL…Basically trying to use the anthem as fake patriotism, nationalism, scaring people. It's idiotic."pic.twitter.com/fuWuWtEbjF
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) May 24, 2018