For one beautiful moment seven months ago, NFL players, coaches, and team owners stood in solidarity against Donald Trump’s Twitter insults and supported the right for players to protest the disproportionate police brutality against black men during the national anthem. It seemed as if America was kneeling down and joining arms to stand up to a bully president and to acknowledge the player’s deeply-felt concerns.
As it turned out on Wednesday, that hasn’t and isn’t going to happen. The NFL capitulated to Trump as soon as they realized that, while standing in solidarity kept the majority of the fans tuned in, they were losing the ones who support Trump and ignore the meaning behind the protests. Losing fans means hurting their bottom line, and no injustice is worth more to the wealthy than money.
The players, however, have already begun to push back.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke out on Twitter against the new ban on kneeling on the field during the anthem and criticized the NFL for the move.
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins also made his thoughts known on Twitter.
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) May 23, 2018
The same Trump who played to the worst of his voting base’s racist ideologies conflated the issue of kneeling during the national anthem with disrespecting our flag and the military who defend it. Nothing could actually be further from the truth. The issue has never been about disrespect, it has been about standing up for this country’s values of each man being created equal and treated equally under the law.
Anyone with a shred of patriotism or love for this country should be equally as outraged on this issue.
Twitter was quick to respond to the players’ tweets. See some of those responses below:
Featured image via Getty/Bret Carlson