In case you haven’t read the Chief’s latest take, we are big fans of the First Amendment here at the BarnBurner. The right to say or express (almost) whatever you want in (almost) whatever way you want to is a pretty important aspect of democracy and I don’t think many people would disagree with that. Well, one person on the “I disagree with that” list is, naturally, Donald Trump. Last night, Trump was in Alabama promoting Luther Strange/stroking his own ego when he went off the rails for a minute and attacked NFL players who have recently refused to stand for the national anthem. Yep, that is apparently still something that people are getting upset about. Trump, to roaring applause, advocated for the NFL owners telling those “sons of bitches” that they’re fired. If you haven’t seen the video, check below.
Ignoring the fact that Trump couldn’t miss a chance to drop his catch phrase, the President of the United States actually stood on a stage and called individuals exercising their First Amendment rights “sons of bitches.” Now, I understand that there is a large group that does oppose the behavior of these NFL players and, even if I disagree with them and think it’s a silly issue, I respect their right to complain about it. I do, however, have a problem with the President of the United States complaining about it. Sure, the President is a politician and he represents his party. He is allowed to take stances on political issues. He has to. But the First Amendment is not a political issue. It is not something that Democrats and Republicans are disagreeing on (for now). It’s maybe the most accepted and supported right we have in this country. To hear the President yet again publicly attack peaceful protesters is chilling. Is he playing to his base just to hear the applause? Maybe. But that doesn’t change the fact that millions of Americans are waking up today to headlines that our President just called his fellow citizens “sons of bitches” for doing nothing inherently wrong. That is a problem.
Naturally, NFL players weren’t stoked about it.
Hard to blame them.
Regardless of where you stand on the kneeling for the national anthem issue, the President cannot make our First Amendment rights a political issue.
On a lighter note, I couldn’t post this article without including this gem.
Have a great weekend everyone.