Trump Tweets, Players Kneel, We Become Divided
People often say they wish to keep politics out of sports. Some are upset sports and politics are starting to integrate.
Yet, what many fail to realize is that the two were never separate.
Sports were one of the main reasons for desegregation in America.
If not for the efforts of Moses “Fleetwood” Walker and Jackie Robinson, then segregation in sports would have remained in place longer than any of us will ever know.
In the 60’s, Black olympic athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fist and put their careers in jeopardy for a political demonstration. Muhammad Ali refused to fight in the Vietnam War and was stripped of his heavyweight title then was slapped with a five year ban from boxing.
These are just a few of the most famous examples of politics and sports going hand in hand. Colin Kaepernick is the latest member to etch his name in the annals of sports and politics.
In 2016, most of us already know of his decision to kneel during the national anthem.
He knelt to protest and bring attention to the alarming number of deaths of unarmed people of color at the hands of cops.
Many people found his protest to be a sign of disrespect. The most notable of those people is without a doubt the U.S. President, Donald Trump.
President Trump has been incredibly vocal on his disdain for Kaepernick’s protest. He has even gone as far as to proudly claim responsibility for the “blackballing” of Kaepernick by the NFL.
Whether or not the president is responsible for Kaepernick’s lack of a job remains to be seen.
However what is prevalent is our president not long ago defended the first amendment rights of nazis to protest on the streets of America.
Yet, he has denounced any NFL player who chooses to exercise the first amendment and not participate in the Anthem.
President Trump recently expressed his desire to have every NFL coach fire any player that decides to protest at a rally in Alabama, then doubled down in a series of tweets.
Ordinarily, these sentiments would feel commonplace as the ramblings of our Commander-in-Chief through Twitter has become accepted practice.
Yet, these tweets came at a time in our country that sports should be the last thing on the mind of the leader of the Free World. President Trump tweeted 22 times about players kneeling in the NFL. At the same time Puerto Rico was suffering from two of the most devastating natural disasters in its history with hurricanes Irma and Maria. President Trump tweeted about Puerto Rico four times.
Opponents of Kaepernick’s decision have expressed their dissatisfaction with him bringing politics into sports. This is a hard argument to give merit when the most important political figure in our nation focuses more time on sports than national issues.