Trump just launched his most disgusting attack yet at protesting NFL players

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With the Manafort trial duly exposing both former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former deputy chairman Rick Gates as criminals, a daunting midterm cycle approaching, and the special counselor’s Russia probe closing in, Trump parroted a common refrain to divert attention away from his flailing presidency: NFL players protesting police brutality by kneeling during the National Anthem.

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And he did so using the most bad faith arguments possible.

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Of course, there is plenty of issue to take with this series of tweets. Trump has repeatedly claimed that the players are protesting the Anthem, as opposed to police brutality, portraying them as unpatriotic. In reality, athletes have always used their national – or, in some cases, global – platform to make political statements. Jesse Owens’ victory in the 1936 Munich Olympics refuted Hitler’s theory of Aryan superiority in the prelude to WWII. The iconic image of Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Mexico City Games, where they are wearing black gloves and raising their fists in the black power salute, became a symbol of resistance during the black power movement in America.

Trump also claims that, because they are making a “fortune,” they should “be happy,” as if their paycheck negates their right to an opinion. However, they are doing what they love because they deserve to be doing it, because they worked for it, because they were better than everyone else.

And finally, in his biggest affront of all, Trump demands that those who do not display mandatory patriotism should be suspended without pay. In America, however, we have the freedom to sit or stand or kneel or sing or stay quiet. That is what sets this country apart from other nations ruled by despots that Trump so desperately yearns to be.

If he can’t accept that, perhaps he should “find another” country.

Brian Tyler Cohen

Managing editor

Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.

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