Trump Attacks the NFL
September 22, at a stump speech in Huntsville, Alabama, President Donald Trump speaks out about all the NFL players who chose to kneel during the national anthem in protest started by former quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. During President Trump’s speech, he attacked the NFL players by talking about those who did choose to kneel for the national anthem should be “fired” and referred to them as “son of b****”. Presidents Trump also encouraged fans to leave the game once they see a player take a knee during the national anthem in a counter-protest.
Majority of the Denver Broncos players decided to partake in this protest, including team captains Von Miller and Demaryius Thomas. This major controversy has been stirring up trouble for players and coaches. Some NFL fans are up in arms about this peaceful protest, saying that these players are disrespecting the national anthem and our country. But others are agreeing with the players and these protests which should be allowed, because they are standing for those who have been mistreated. At first glance, NFL fans might say that what these players are doing is disrespectful to our flag and country. But on closer inspection we find that they are doing this to bring people together.
Former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, took a knee August 14th during a 49ers pre season game and refused to stand during the national anthem, “in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.” says NFL media reporter, Steve Wyche in his 2016 article, Colin Kaepernick explains why he sat during national anthem. Thus starting a trend in the football community, 32 of the Denver Broncos players took a knee before Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. This decision, whether or not to stand for the national anthem was given to the players by Broncos head coach, Vance Joseph, after President Trump’s speech Friday. Fans were outraged when the players took a knee, but the Broncos players who did chose to kneel were doing so in protest against President Trump’s comments about the NFL.
Fans of the NFL who agree with President Trump are saying that the NFL players who did chose to kneel for the national anthem are disrespecting our country, flay, and military. Donna Murray, NFL fan says in an interview for the New York Times that, “the players had not picked the most effective way to make their point.”. There are many NFL fans out there who side with Murray, saying that no matter what the controversy may be, the players who are on the field should still stand and honor our country. Murray then continues to say, “I think if they did it in a different platform, more people would listen.”. Fans who do agree with Murray are also siding with NFL players who say that the president had a poor choice of words in his speech, and that he could have gone about this in a more professional way being the leader of our country.
Broncos players were not kneelings in protest or disrespect for our country, but simply kneeling in sign of solitary and for the people in this country who have been victims of police brutality. The Broncos decided that after Trumps comments Friday, they had to do something in protest of the President’s speech. After Sunday’s game, Broncos team captain Von Miller shares his reasoning for kneeling for the national anthem. John Heath, reporter for Broncos Wire shares:
“Me and my teammates, we felt like President Trump’s speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech,” Miller said. “Collectively, we felt like we had to do something for this game, if not any other game, if not in the past, in the future. At this moment in time, we felt like, as a team, we had to do something. We couldn’t just let things go.”
Broncos wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, talks about how the president went about this the wrong way. Sanders shares his thoughts on President Trump’s speech on social media posting on Instagram saying that the president was acting like a “child” and that he had defended Trump to friends and family but now the president is “proving them right”. Sanders continued to post saying, “There are ways to express how you feel but to degrade someone as a son of a b**** is intolerant and inhuman.”
By choosing to take a knee for the national anthem, the Denver Broncos are doing nothing but showing their respect for those who have been mistreated in the United States. Fans everywhere criticize and comment on the choices of these players but ultimately it is their first amendment right to peacefully protest. President Donald Trump attacking the NFl for doing so has created a very big debate on whether or not this should be allowed by the players on the field. Saying that they should be taken off the field and fired for their right to protest. The players are standing together to try to send a message to people all around the world.