The president went to Alabama this Friday to campaign for U.S. Senate candidate Luther Strange, and while there, he decided to go after NFL players who have taken to protesting the treatment of minorities in the United States via refusing to stand for the national anthem at games.
Minorities become victims of police violence at a strikingly higher rate than non-minorities, and the now former San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick took to protesting this fact through refusing to stand for the national anthem at games.
Although Kaepernick is no longer employed, apparent behind closed door efforts to keep him off the field didn’t stop his protest from taking off. Many players, including some Caucasian ones, have taken to refusing to stand for the anthem at their own respective games.
The president responded to this at a Friday rally by saying:
‘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”?’
What Trump seems to fail to grasp is two-fold. First, we are in the United States, not North Korea or Russia. We have freedom of speech here, even if that freedom leads to expressions that some don’t like. This incident isn’t the first time he’s shown a lack of understanding of this concept, having called for protests to be shut down time and time again in the past.
Secondly, what players do when they refuse to stand for the national anthem isn’t a “disrespect” of the flag. The issue of the treatment of minorities in the United States is serious and verifiable — and it’s one that the president of the United States apparently is not interested in acknowledging.
An array of Twitter personalities responded to the president’s comments in posts filed under the hashtag “Take A Knee.” As some of them noted, the president asserted that “fine people” were marching among white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, but thinks, apparently, that peacefully protesting NFL players are “sons of bitches.”
Talk about glaring racism. It’s not even apparently worth trying to hide it anymore for him.
Read Twitter replies to the president’s comments below.
Featured Image via Ralph Freso / Stringer/ Getty Images