John McCain is regularly lauded as a hero by the liberal media, but what has he done recently to deserve the accolades?
“If @SenJohnMcCain is such a hero why is he so silent when people disrespect the flag?” asked former President Obama’s brother Malik Obama on Twitter.
A reporter from TMZ Sports caught up with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to get his take on the national anthem protests launched by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season. “I’ve always hated the Dallas Cowboys, and I will continue to do so,” McCain joked before answering, “That’s their right to do what they want to do as citizens.”
Yet, this non-answer completely ignores the crux of the national anthem protest debate. No one is denying that the players have the right to protest. Instead, many are concerned that the protests send the wrong message, and ought not to occur. Players have the right to protest, but merely exercising a right does not make you immune from criticism.
President Trump launched the national anthem protest debate last Friday when he made reference to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, saying owners should respond with, “Get that son of a b—- off the field right now, he’s fired!” in front of a Hunstville, Alabama crowd while supporting Republican incumbent candidate Luther Strong (R-AL), according to CNN.
“I know we have freedoms and we have freedom of choice and many many different freedoms, but you know what? It is still totally disrespectful,” President Trump told the Alabama crowd. Clearly, he has no intention to limit the rights of NFL players. Instead, this is a debate about respect.
In a number of decisions, the United States Supreme Court has determined that the First Amendment protects desecration of the flag as an act of symbolic speech. All Americans have the right to burn the American flag. That does not mean they ought to.
Americans would rightly be outraged if NFL players were burning the American flag before kick-off, and calls for sanctioning these players would not be interpreted as calls for limiting their rights. Yet, the vast majority of Americans would oppose these flag burnings.
Many Americans view kneeling during the national anthem as poorly as they view burning the flag. The same United States Flag Code that warns against mistreating the flag also instructs Americans to stand at attention with hand over heart while saluting the flag. By kneeling during the national anthem, these players are displaying a level of disrespect comparable to burning the flag.
Obama’s brother, Malik, asks, “If @SenJohnMcCain is such a hero why is he so silent when people disrespect the flag?” Good question! Shouldn’t a war hero demand respect for the flag?
Dallas Cowboys owner and Trump supporter Jerry Jones joined his players on the field on Sunday and joined his entire team in protest before the national anthem, yet they rose and stood at attention when the anthem began.
In 2016, when Kaepernick first launched his protest, Jerry Jones said his protest was “really disappointing.” According to The Hill, Jones said, “I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have. I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it.”
“Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!” President Trump tweeted after Sunday’s games, supporting the players’ right to protest while encouraging them to voice their opinion in a more respectful manner.