Last week, the president turned heads when, while speaking at a rally in support of Alabama GOP Senate candidate Luther Strange, he asserted that the “sons of bitches” who sit out the national anthem to demonstrate on behalf of African Americans should be fired. Strange didn’t even win the Republican primary that was held this past Tuesday, so it’s not even like the president got anything back for putting himself out there like that.
Unsurprisingly, an array of sports officials and players have spoken out against the president. Over the weekend, and on Monday, when a new round of NFL games were held, a large number of players participated in the protest, popularized by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, that had so irked the president.
Now, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has joined the chorus of those speaking out against the president.
As an African American, he has a personal stake in the issue that the president is so willing to simply cast to the side.
Speaking to the International Business Times, the star player compared those of the president’s persuasion to those who “colluded” with the British during the era of the American Revolution.
Speaking of the president and companys’ assertion that NFL players should stand for the national anthem no matter what, the league’s all time leading scorer commented:
‘That’s pretty much what the British said about the leaders of the American Revolution — the wealthy were making money by colluding with the British, so they should just be grateful… The implication here is that black athletes should be grateful that they’ve been invited to dine with the white elites and if they want to keep their place at the table, they should keep dancing and smiling and keep their mouths shut. The myth of the Happy Negro needs to be dispelled once and for all.’
Abdul-Jabbar also had staunchly positive words to share about the aforementioned player who started it all, Colin Kaepernick, stating that it’s to his “credit that he was willing to protest institutional racism when he was almost alone and without much power.”
Speaking directly about the president, Abdul-Jabbar commented:
‘I can think of instances when a president’s opinion could be worthwhile, especially when trying to uphold principles of the Constitution or the well-being of the players. However, Trump’s comments are direct attacks on the constitutional principles of free speech. For someone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, this is either an example of immense ignorance or willful treason.’
Congressman Al Green of Texas actually shares Abdul-Jabbar’s views about the seriousness of the president passing the time by calling professional athletes “sons of bitches,” and he announced this week that he intends to soon force a vote on an impeachment resolution against the president. Although that resolution is unlikely to get off the ground, thanks to the overwhelming majority of Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress, it is still a noteworthy effort.
The president, for his part, has stood by his remarks, tweeting day after day since last Friday about the subject. As recently as this past Wednesday, he again tweeted a statement seeking to pressure NFL teams to stand for the national anthem and ditch their efforts to stick up for African Americans.
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