When the national news focused more on the looting and rioting than the peaceful demonstrations led across the country against the police brutality experienced far more often by black Americans than white, a common refrain of “why can’t they just protest peacefully?” resounded. Everyone was willing to support peaceful protest, they said, including the president of the United States, just not violent revolt.
That lasted exactly as long as it took for someone to mention the peaceful, silent act of protest demonstrated by NFL players, beginning with Colin Kaepernick, of taking a knee during the national anthem. The protest is not against the flag or the country, but against the idea that this country is “the land of the free” when black Americans are being murdered at a disproportionately higher rate than white Americans at the hands of police.
When the protests were underway at NFL stadiums across the country, Donald Trump took the side of his base and insisted that every player who knelt during the anthem was a “son of a bitch” who needed to be thrown off the field. The NFL capitulated to Trump’s Twitter bullying and spoke out against the practice. Following the death of George Floyd, however, the NFL commissioner made a new statement about those peaceful, take a knee protests.
According to CBS News, Goodell said:
‘We were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier…Without black players, there would be no National Football League and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff.’
Trump, who said earlier that he was “an ally of peaceful protesters,” had his typical hissy fit on social media over being challenged. The truth is that Trump has disrespected the flag and everything this country stands for by having peaceful protesters shot with tear gas and rubber bullets so that he could have a photo op, and his pearl-clutching over kneeling during the national anthem only highlights how hypocritical, not to mention how openly racist, he is.
Twitter had a lot to say about the Trump/Goodell standoff. Read some of their comments below:
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