Day 249 – Kneeling During The National Anthem Is Not About Disrespecting Our Military or Our Nation, Mr. President.
Photograph from CBS News
Dear Mr. President,
On Friday and Saturday, our news-feeds were (once again) awash with your (hastily-penned, grammatically incorrect, temper-tantrum) tweets. You seem to have a problem with NFL players choosing to kneel during the National Anthem at their games. You called the players unpatriotic, and went so far as to call them sons-of-bitches at your Alabama rally. As our President, your behavior disturbs me much more than the behavior of a group of NFL players. Apparently, I am not the only one that feels this way. On Sunday, my news-feed was filled with stories of more players, coaches, and owners standing in solidarity with the players you demeaned. Sadly, I can only hope you keep alienating group after group until your base has dwindled to those who are as delusional and narcissistic as you.
It saddens me that you chose to attack a group of men who are trying to stand up (or, rather, kneel down) to bring attention to an issue that needs to change in our country. As far as I am concerned, those actions are the definition of being “patriotic.” It’s not that they hate our country, or want to disrespect our flag or the National Anthem. In fact, it isn’t about that at all. It is about a group of men who have voice and influence choosing to use their position to bring about awareness regarding the inequality that still exists in our nation. They are showing love to their fellow Americans and are exercising their Constitutional rights.
I really wish you would use your voice and influence to bring attention to issues that really matter. Aside from longstanding problems within our society, there have been a rash of natural disasters that have devastated some of our states and commonwealths: Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Washington, Oregon, California, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is not an exhaustive list. They are suffering….now. They need a country that will support them….now. I would venture to say that many don’t care about football players and games right now. With so many other important tasks at hand, why in the world would you focus your attention in such a divisive way?!
I believe it has to do with fueling your supporters. As your approval ratings continue to sink, you are grasping at ways to have people come behind you, and nothing gets at the heart of a conservative America like insisting someone is disrespecting our flag. Again, that was and is not the purpose of the NFL kneel (which began well before your presidency)….but, you know how to feed the vultures. You will point the finger at anyone and everyone to get the negative attention off yourself and hide the fact that you’re not “winning.” The presidency of our country was never a game to be won to begin with, but that is the only mindset you seem to exude. So you continue to deflect and divide, hoping to show everyone that you have led the winning team to a victory.
On Sunday, you lost. I wish it were a cute little game show where we could yell, “You’re Fired!” but this is real life. Those football players, and the people they kneel for, are your citizens. You lack empathy, compassion, and the ability to lead with dignity and composure. Maybe more people would want to link arms with you in solidarity if you showed a depth of character that some of our athletes, managers, and owners showed this Sunday. Good luck with that.