As training camp begins and America starts to get hyped for the 2018 season of NFL football, the league has suddenly found itself back in the presidential crosshairs once again.
On Thursday, the NFL decided to roll back their controversial policy on protesting police brutality and racism by kneeling for the national anthem on Thursday after the Miami Dolphins provoked player outrage by making the incomprehensible decision to label kneeling “conduct detrimental to the team,” thus making it a disciplinary offense.
Perhaps hoping that the backlash from his disastrous summit with Vladimir Putin might distract him long enough for their latest self-inflicted public relations crisis to blow over, the NFL discovered they had only succeeded in opening yet another can of worms when the President took to Twitter to declare the anthem debate back on and issued a disturbing set of demands to the league in yet another effort to force African-American athletes into obeying his petulant demands.
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The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
The move is an obvious effort to distract the nation from his week-long efforts to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin and to excuse the Russian Federation for its interference in the 2016 elections.
It remains to be seen how the league will respond to his preposterous demands. You can thank Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and his prejudices for ensuring that the news cycle immediately moves on from the Helsinki summit and Trump’s entertaining of the idea of handing over a former US Ambassador to Russia for interrogation.