Trump said, “NO STAND, NO PLAY, AND NO PAY” to the NFL players exercising their right of expression (First Amendment) to focus attention on the need for improved social justice.
Standing with all respect for the National Anthem is the expected patriotic behavior.
In some countries, to not do so is to risk life and limb. Viewing orchestrated mass flag saluting/marching is impressive. Massive bloc voting (on cue) in strong man controlled legislatures is the same. There is no rancor. It is neat. It is serious business.
To what is one showing respect? Is not the American and the North Korean, for example, each showing “respect” for their respective flag and national song? Both Americans and North Koreans want to pay tribute to fallen heroes and honor their country’s history.
What separates one nation from the others is what it stands for — the nation’s way of life, its values. This is what our flag’s cloth with its symbols and colors and anthem’s lyrics represent.
Our way of life and values are in stark contrast to life and the values of Kim Jong-un’s North Korea.
The players’ non-violent knee down can be viewed as a gesture of patriotism. They were exercising a patriotic duty in their attempt to make America great, a better place — the fulfillment of the American promise.
I contend the NFL “knee down” protest is more patriotic than Trump’s recent acquiescence to Putin’s proposal to have the KGB interrogate Americans and Trump’s denial of Putin’s interference in American affairs. Trump’s actions were not attempts to make America a better place — to make America great (again).
The NFL players are not seeking personal gain. What they did cost them career harm and public condemnation. Trump’s motivation is suspect, as of now. Patriotic, I think not.
I do suggest the NFL player raise one arm upholding an American flag while taking the knee.