WASHINGTON – NFL players got plenty of support from the Big Media when they kneeled down during the national anthem Sunday in response to President Trump’s tough words for athletes who “disrespect our flag.”
The headline on a CNN analysis by Juana Summers summarized it well: “It’s impossible for black athletes to leave politics off the field.”
“President Donald Trump ignited a war of words with the nation’s African-American athletes this weekend, yet again putting himself squarely in the middle of a racially charged debate,” she wrote.
David Remnick of the New Yorker wrote: “Every day, and in countless and unexpected ways, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, finds new ways to divide and demoralize his country and undermine the national interest. On Tuesday, he ranted from the lectern of the U.N. General Assembly about ‘Rocket Man’ and the possibility of levelling North Korea. Now he has followed with an equally unhinged domestic performance at a rally, on Friday evening, in Huntsville, Alabama, where he set out to make African-American athletes the focus of national contempt.”
The headline on the magazine piece called Trump’s Alabama speech “racial demagoguery.”
A headline on a Miami Herald opinion piece blared: “Trump’s NFL tirade shows the nation who he really is: A white supremacist.”
The piece by Jennee Osterheldt began: “Donald Trump is the president America deserves. He’s forcing the country to take the mask off, to confront its systemically oppressive ways, to deal with the fact that xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, able-ism, anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and, yes, racism, are real. Say it with me: Racism is real.”
But did Trump say anything about race?
He criticized using the forum of NFL games to make symbolically critical political statements by all players and coaches.
Trump is pro-America, not a racial demagogue.
The Big Media appears unable or unwilling to distinguish the difference.
The NFL is committing suicide by allowing its games to be turned into political events. Few care about the political opinions of the sports stars. The public watches to see them perform feats of athletic prowess. That’s how the players get paid – and paid well.
Not one media commentary has made this point: Don’t squash the hand that feeds you by kneeling down on it during the national anthem.
It’s just that simple. It’s not about race. It’s about holding up the greatest country on Earth with a couple minutes of respect – no matter what color you are.
And that’s why I had to write this simple refutation today. I didn’t watch any NFL games today. Instead, I watched baseball games where players – black, white and Hispanic – all stood reverentially and with dignity during the national anthem.
Trump is not the one dividing America over racial lines. Those who attack America – and the president – as racist are.
Trump never mentioned race. The media did. The players have.
Not all of the players, however.
It takes courage to do what Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, did Sunday.
While the PC coaches decided to keep the team off the field during the national anthem, he took a principled stand – visible in the runway, on the field, upright and dignified.
Of course, that’s what we expect from Army Rangers of all races, colors and creeds. Courage.
The NFL is making a mockery of itself, but it’s OK with me. I can live without football.
I can also live without the media hacks who are celebrating this brand of divisiveness, America-bashing and Trump hatred.
I suspect many, if not most, Americans are feeling the same way today.
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].