The NFL and its players became quite indignant over the weekend in response to Trump comments about NFL protests at a speech he made in Alabama last week. He said, regarding players not standing at attention during the national anthem, “get that son of a bitch off the field right now – he’s fired”. The players have a right to do whatever they want during the anthem, whether it is what I would do or not. It doesn’t matter who agrees or disagrees with them, or on what grounds; they have the right. Although it is interesting that while Trump has the same free speech rights as everyone else (very wide, but with some limitations), he probably is not supposed to wrongfully influence a private entity’s employment decisions. Cue the feigned outrage by people who don’t like Trump. Has anybody on the left not yet figured out that Trump is a blowhard and his off-the-cuff comments and tweets are not to be taken so literally?
While NFL players can do what they want as far as I’m concerned (and fans can watch the games or not), they will not come out of this looking good. While so many on the left took his comments as if they were soon going to become inviolable law, he was just saying what a lot of people probably thought: it’s not good thing when people disrespect the flag, the national anthem, and our shared values. I’m pretty sure most NFL fans would agree with that sentiment. There is no way for the players to come out of this looking good by disagreeing. To most people, it’s as if they are saying ‘yes, it is perfectly acceptable to disrespect the flag”. The boomerang is going to come right back at them. That didn’t take too long!
Update: Patriots reportedly might not protest this Sunday.