Tuesday October 16, 2018
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VP Pence's Staged Exit of 49ers-Colts GameRalph E. Stone, Salem-News.com
The NFL players are peacefully exercising their right guaranteed under the Constitution to protest police brutality and racial injustice.
(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - President Donald Trump is obsessed with NFL players' protests during the national anthem. He fired off a series of tweets calling for fans to boycott the NFL “until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country.”
At Sunday's 49ers-Colts game, Vice President Mike Pence, wearing a Peyton Manning No. 18 jersey, in a staged exit of the Lucas Oil Stadium after the national anthem, following instructions from President Trump after a number of 49ers players took a knee during the anthem.
Later he tweeted, "I left today's Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
Clearly, both Trump and Pence have a distorted view of the Constitution's guarantee of Freedom of Speech. The NFL players are not disrespecting the military or the American flag, but peacefully exercising their right guaranteed under the Constitution to protest police brutality against blacks, racism, and racial injustice.
Would those who criticize these players rather have them riot in the streets or refuse to play?
Of course, Trump, during his presidential campaign and since taking office, has increased the racial divide.
While some NFL owners have joined players in their protest and voiced support for their right to protest, none, as far as I know, were directly critical of Trump’s remarks. These owners know that without the players there would be no NFL and thus no profits.
Consider that at least $7.75 million of the $106 million raised for Trump's inaugural committee came from NFL owners and the league, according to public records.
NFL Ventures, a lucrative business unit of the league, gave $100,000. And many owners gave far more. Clearly their hearts are with the Trump administration.
Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick, who started the taking of a knee during the national anthem, has yet to be signed by any NFL team.
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