The national anthem protest still divides

VINCENT DAVIS | 6/1/2018, 9:54 a.m.
The response and backlash to the NFL owners’ new flag mandate has been typical and divided along the same lines ...

The response and backlash to the NFL owners’ new flag mandate has been typical and divided along the same lines that have separated the two schools of thought. Those who get it, those who understand and those who don’t.

New York Congressmen Peter King doesn’t get it. His attack on New York Jets CEO and Chairman Chris Johnson, who has volunteered to pay the fines of any Jet players who protest, exemplifies that. 

In a tweet, King wrote, “Disgraceful that @nyjets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for national anthem. Encouraging a movement premised on lies versus police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It’s time to say goodbye to Jets!”

Ironically, Johnson’s brother, Woody Johnson, is the team’s owner and currently serving as United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom under the Trump administration. He’s also been a major contributor to the Trump presidential campaign. 

Ironically, there are multiple Bible verses about kneeling to the Lord. Chapter 14, Verse 11 in Romans says, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” Is kneeling for the flag greater than kneeling before the Lord? That is a question for all of those devout patriotic Christians.

The president’s comments about athletes who protest have been harsher than his comments criticizing this nation’s mass shooters.

During an interview, Trump said, “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms,” an option that a player can choose if he doesn’t want to stand on the field during the national anthem. Any player who doesn’t participate during anthem ceremonies while on the field will now be fined.  

“You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing,” said Trump. “You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

Last September, during a campaign rally, he enthusiastically stated, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out, he’s fired!”

Trump continued, “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

Possibly, but not yet.

Maybe everyone who disagrees with Trump and King being in office should remain seated during the national anthem until they’re both out of office.

To really display their patriotism, maybe team owners can halt all concession sales of beer, hot dogs and all of the other overpriced items that are sold during the game as soon as the anthem ceremony begins, until it concludes.