After the NFL released their ruling Wednesday that they are banning kneeling during the American national anthem and will fine anyone who does so, Vice President and chief kisser of the orange rumpus, Mike Pence tweeted, “Today’s decision by the
@NFL is a win for the fans, a win for @POTUS, and a win for America. Americans can once again come together around what unites us – our flag, our military, and our National Anthem. Thank you NFL.”
What Mike Pence reveals with that tweet is that it was never about the fans, our military, or our nation. It’s all about Trump.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the silent protest to draw attention to police brutality and other social injustice against African-Americans. A few players joined him over time, and after Donald Trump used the issue to divide America further, even more players, white and black, took part.
Trump used the issue to attack black athletes and throw red meat to his base of racist supporters under the pretense that not standing was dishonoring veterans. That’s rich coming from a man who said a POW was not a war hero (I like people who aren’t captured), insulted Gold Star Families, and was himself a draft dodger.
Pence used the issue to stage a photo-op and even flew across the country to pull it off.
None of the critics have actually listened to what the protest has been about, instead pretending it’s something else. Screaming a lie about disrespecting the military is easier and more politically beneficial than confronting the reality that we have a social and legal system that discriminates against black Americans.
The National Football League was wise years ago when they prevented Trump from becoming a team owner. The “Buffalo Trumps” has a horrible ring to it anyway. The league should have exercised that same wisdom and refused to listen and pander to Trump.
The league is allowing players to stay in the locker rooms during the anthem, but will fine teams of any players on the field who refuse to stand. The teams can then punish the players any way they choose. Sure, the players are employees, but can an employer force employees to pledge loyalty? Expect a legal challenge.
The NFL uses patriotism as a marketing tool and even takes money from the Department of Defense to stage tributes in taxpayer-owned stadiums, in cities where they receive huge tax breaks.
The anger directed at the players is based entirely on race, not patriotism. You don’t see the same outrage from Republicans toward Trump for his disrespect of the troops. They don’t ask him to apologize and to be accountable for the attacks he’s waged. These are the same people complaining about “safe spaces” on college campuses.
It’s funny how people are told they can protest as long as they do it peacefully, then told to do it silently, and now they’re being told to do it where nobody can see them. Basically, the rule from Republicans is, don’t protest while black.
One solution the NFL didn’t take advantage of was, leave it alone. An atmosphere where you allow people to express themselves is stronger than one of forced compliance. Since the NFL failed, the players should practice a new protest.
I suggest they go on the field during the anthem and stand. While standing, they should put their fist in the air and give the black power salute like Tommie Smith and John Carlos did in the 1968 Olympics. The new policy doesn’t prohibit a raised fist while standing. Then, we’ll hear from the critics what their problems really are about black athletes making a point.
Standing up for your beliefs is honorable. Kissing Trump’s ass is a disgrace. Pandering to a wannabe authoritarian is un-American.
Watch me draw.
Thank you for your support. Reader contributions, small and large, really do help and are appreciated in a time of dwindling revenue for political cartoonists. You will also be supporting free speech and the First Amendment, and independent journalism while those in power are doing all they can to suppress it. You can also support by purchasing a signed print for $40.00. Just look at the right of this page and click the PayPal button, or you can email and make other arrangements. Thank you!