Do these guys even know what they’re protesting anymore?
New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon took the knee during the National Anthem at the start of the Thanksgiving Day game against the Washington Redskins.
“Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players,” President Trump tweeted Friday morning. “The Commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss!”
The president began slamming the NFL in September when he called any player who kneels during the National Anthem a “son of a bitch,” and called for team owners to fire any players who participate in the demonstrations.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said weeks ago that the league believes “everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” but it wouldn’t force players to do so.
In the NFL’s latest stand (pun intended) on the issue, Goodell said that next season the league would consider keeping teams in the locker room during the National Anthem.
That’s just as bad, Trump shot back, if not worse.
The football players’ protest against America began last season when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting, then kneeling, during the anthem, to protest racism and police brutality.
But Kaepernick’s original intent got lost somewhere along the line and the protest degenerated into one against President Trump, core American values and patriotism.
As the season regressed, other players joined in, angering fans who started boycotting games, causing a multi-million-dollar decline in ticket sales, TV ratings and advertisers. Sports icons like Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Vin Scully said he will never watch another football game.
Kaepernick was let go by the 49ers and seems to have traded his jersey for full-time protesting. On Thursday, he joined the Native Americans annual “Un-Thanksgiving” protest at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island.
The number of NFL players continuing to carry the torch for Kaepernick during the National Anthem is diminishing, but that’s still enough to destroy the game for fans and incur the wrath of the President and the fury of the social media.
— Mitch L. More in New York