While hurricanes continue to ravage the eastern coast of the U.S. and fires rage in the northwest, and tensions continue to build between the U.S. and North Korea, President Trumpf seems to be stuck on the peaceful protests of a few NFL players.
As Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station rightly points out, Trumpf has not tweeted about the twice-ravaged island of Puerto Rico since before Hurricane Maria hit, while he has posted 17 tweets about the NFL.
Why is that relevant, you might wonder?
The United States acquired Puerto Rico in 1898 after the Spanish-American War. That makes them Americans. However, since Puerto Rico is just a “territory”, the citizens are not represented in Congress and cannot vote for President and Vice-President. But Puerto Ricans are considered natural-born U.S. citizens.
So when the media report that Puerto Rico is without power and water and communications – and may be so for months, even years – understand that to mean 3.4 million American citizens are without power and water and communications.
But I digress…
These protests that the President is so worked up about began last year when then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled for the playing of the National Anthem instead of standing. (I wrote about that here.)
Kaepernick was roundly criticized by “patriots” who claimed he was “disrespecting the National Anthem” / “disrespecting the American Flag”.
Unlike these pictured here.
|According to the U.S. Flag Code, this is an improper way to display the flag.|
As is so often the case with small-thinkers, the typical response was, “If you don’t love America and stand for the National Anthem, then move away to some other country.”
Has anyone besides the Captain noticed there is a lot of anger and hatred in America today?
As a result of the criticisms, other NFL players started kneeling in support of Kaepernick’s right to kneel.
And more criticism followed.
Captain's Note: The practice of the teams standing along the sidelines with hand over heart while the National Anthem is played reportedly dates back to only 2009, about the time the U.S. Armed Services started paying the NFL millions of dollars to put on patriotic pre-game and half-time shows to help their recruiting efforts.
As a new season of football began, President Trumpf felt the need to weigh in.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired.”
-President Donald Trumpf
Now mates, if you call one of my krewe a ‘son of a bitch”, you’re going to have to answer to me!
On Sunday, the NFL responded in force. Many teams issued official statements indicating their support for their team members who chose to take a stand – or a knee – on the issue.
Those teams “taking the knee” included the Colts, the Jaguars, the Dolphins, the Patriots, the Chiefs, the Broncos, and the Bills. Those teams who sat on the bench, with arms locked in solidarity, included the Raiders, the Packers, and the Saints. Those teams that stood, but with arms linked, included the Redskins, the Lions, and the Falcons. And those teams who stayed in the locker room until after the National Anthem was performed included the Bears and the Steelers. Just to name a few.
Maybe President Trumpf is a “great uniter” after all!
Sadly, Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, issued the following tone-deaf statement for his organization:
The Captain wonders how the team and staff feel about this “little dictator” speech?
Captain's Note: 09-26-2017 - With apologies to all, the Captain got suckered by a fake post on Facebook. Jerry Jones did not, in fact, give the above order. And if you watched Monday Night Football last night, you saw Jones come onto the field with his Dallas Cowboys, kneel in solidarity before the anthem, and then stand with the team for the playing of the anthem.
Of course, social media is on fire today, with both sides of the argument in full distress.
And, likewise, FOX News found a way to blame Obama…
But, you have to understand: yesterday’s protest was not about either the National Anthem or the American Flag.
It was about a capricious president who stuck his nose into someone else’s business.
And perhaps illegally.
It was about an insolent president who can find “some good people” in a crowd of torch-wielding Klansmen and Nazis, but calls our professional football players – who are peacefully protesting a very real injustice – “sons of bitches”, and insists they should be fired.
It is about a hypocritical president who couldn’t find his heart even if Dr. Ben Carson pointed it out to him.