Protests over the national anthem in the National Football League are one of the most hotly debated topics in America today. President Donald Trump is not happy with the league’s athletes, and he made sure they understand his frustrations.
The President lashed out on Friday toward NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He stated that Goodell has “lost control” of the football league, citing the fact that the NFL is “hemorrhaging” money. President Trump has helped fuel the rage against the NFL ever since the protests picked back up this season.
“Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players?” President Trump tweeted.
Many feel the NFL protests are focused on racial injustice and police brutality. It appears that none of the league’s players did anything to help people who were disenfranchised by such traumas — except for sitting during the national anthem.
There is nothing respectable about these players’ actions, as President Trump pointed out. Many Democrats became upset when the President said he believed that NFL protesters should be fired or benched.
As a result, entire teams kneeled during the anthem as a protest against the President. Not only was their behavior unpatriotic, but it muddied the original cause of fighting for police brutality — it means nothing to the average NFL fan now. The protests could have been effective, productive, and straightforward. Instead, they were disorganized, disrespectful to Americans, and served only to counter the protester’s original goals.
Many Americans do not want to mix sports and politics. If athletes want to fight for these causes, they are welcome to do so — but many feel it should be kept off the field.
The same message seems to be coming from the President. Football players need to stand up for the anthem, and do what they were hired to do — play football. Bringing politics into a sports arena is a surefire way to get fans to change the channel.
With the league’s numbers already in freefall, it seems as if their best course of action would be to start mitigating the damages they’ve done by removing political distractions from their games. Instead, they seem focused on antagonizing the President and their fans by embedding political rhetoric into their pregame policies. It’s completely unacceptable, and could spell major problems for the league and its viewership in the near future.
The NFL protests have become so extreme that there are now talks of making the players stay in the locker room during the national anthem next season in order to prevent controversy. However, this isn’t going to be good enough for many Americans — or President Trump.
President Trump said on Twitter that keeping players in the locker room during the anthem is “almost as bad as kneeling.” Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the fact remains that Goodell has not shown strong leadership in the NFL. His loose rule is allowing players to walk all over him, fans of the sport, and is breeding an anti-patriotic mindset.