President Donald Trump jumped headfirst into one of the biggest culture clashes in America over the weekend as he slammed NFL and NBA players for using social justice activism as an excuse to disrespect patriotic institutions like the national anthem.
In front of cheering supporters in Alabama, Trump said that the NFL’s owners should take decisive action against players who chose to kneel during the anthem. And in his continued remarks on social media, he slammed NBA star Steph Curry for waffling on whether or not to accept an invitation to the White House.
“Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,” Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”
The previous night in Huntsville, Trump used a rally for Sen. Luther Strange to blast NFL stars who kneeled during the singing of the national anthem.
“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 – out, he’s fired,'” Trump asked the cheering audience.
Trump encouraged NFL fans to stage their own protest when players took a knee. “The only thing you could do better is if you see it – even if it’s one player – leave the stadium,” he advised.
Despite rebukes from NFL players and owners and a rousing round of condemnation from the mainstream media, Trump continued hammering the theme of patriotic disrespect on social media. On Saturday, he said that the millionaires playing football should have a better understanding of just how good they’ve got it.
“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote on Saturday morning. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”
Who can really disagree with this sentiment? Well, yes, the entirety of the unpatriotic left will disagree, but what REAL American can? Sure, sure, the players have the First Amendment right to sit, kneel, thumb their nose at the flag, what have you, but fans have a First Amendment right as well. And the NFL isn’t the federal government. These players are representing their owners and their leagues. And the officials have the right – if not the duty – to see that their players are not fostering anti-American sentiment on THEIR dime.
We have the unfortunate feeling that Trump’s comments will only strengthen these anthem protests – now players will feel like they’re part of “The Resistance” as well as whatever feeble-minded anti-cop movement they were espousing before. But they would do well to listen instead of reacting. NFL fans have had just about enough of this nonsense, and it’s starting to show in the ratings and the live attendance. Without the fans, these players are nothing. They should probably remember that.