When I left for my vacation I still had the feeling that some big type of war would break out probably involving a Russian or Iranian indiscretion. Happy days would then be over as the stock market crumbles, our nation goes into a semi-panic when we recognize freedom is not free and we may need more than just the “volunteer troops” to protect us and my vacation would end.
Fortunately that did not happen yet. However the news about Colin Kaepernick’s position that he will no longer stand for the playing of the National Anthem was too irresistable to ignore. So I pulled over my VW bus and entered this library to briefly interrupt my vacation with this post
Thus I pose the question because Donald Trump spoke out about Kaepernick’s actions by saying: “I think it’s personally not a good thing, I think it’s a terrible thing. And maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it won’t happen.”
I’m sure a lot of people feel that way but shouldn’t we look at this more broadly and ask the question I did in the beginning. We know Trump ducked putting on the nation’s uniform during war and let some other young kid without influence serve in his place. I would hope you would think that is worse than refusing to stand for the flag. I know many others did this so we don’t get too excited about it. But having done it and then to want to become commander-in-chief of the military is a terrible thing.
Even worse than Trump is the NFL owners. You may remember that there was a rumor that the NFL was planning to ban the playing of the National Anthem at its games. That may be the only way it will be able to extricate itself from the difficulties that it now faces with Kaepernick’s action. The owners live in dread that this black lives matter-type protest might spread to other players especially considering the majority of its players are black. Imagine the picture it would present if many of the black players refused to stand for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner in front of the almost 100% white spectators?
This is the huge fear of the highly publicity-conscious NFL owners. The NFLplayers have already been urged to follow Kaepernick’s example by Shaun King a columnist for the NY Daily News who also will never stand for the National Anthem until another song replaces the one written by Francis Scott Key who King calls “a terrible human being.”
The initial NFL response to Kaepernick’s actions was according to one report “NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem“.
If that is truly the NFL stand then it too has little respect for our nation’s flag. I say that because the NFL had page after page of actions the players are required to follow. It tells a guy like Greg Hardy he cannot wear his face paint. It has other rules like:
Players are not permitted to wear bandanas, stockings, or other unapproved headwear anywhere on the field during pregame, game, or postgame periods, even if such items are under the helmet.– – Towels are limited to a maximum of four inches wide and 12 inches long and must be tucked into the front waist of the pants.– The exterior stocking must be a one-piece unit solid white from the top of the shoe to the mid-point of the lower leg, with approved team color or colors from that midpoint to the top of the stocking.- – Tape worn over footwear must be the same color as the dominant color of the shoe”.
It is hard to believe the NFL rules a player cannot put his lucky handkerchief under his helmet but he does not have to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. The next question to consider is why does the respect for our flag mean so little to the owners of the NFL.
Then there’s President Obama whose spokesperson says he hasn’t spoken to him about it even though he is aware of Kaepernick’s actions. And, of course, we have no reaction from Hillary Clinton as expected.
I have to admit it saddens me that our president and the president-to-be do not have the courage to condemn the action of Kaepernick. Sure he has the right to do what he did but they have the obligation to say it is an outrageous disrespect and denigration of our country.
Perhaps the best question is what is worse a president and one who will be president who refuse to condemn the actions of those who publicly disrespect our nation’s flag or a draft dodger running for president who does condemn the action?