Professional Sports “Take A Knee” Against Police Brutality

Why is it gaining steam?

President Donald Trump continuously shifts the public focus away from the real issues and focuses on fostering hate and racism in the United States. By taking something as simple as a protest against police brutality and turning it into a national debate about patriotism, the President has yet again ignored the issue that really matters.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,” Donald Trump said. Given his reality TV star background, we know that he loves to fire people… He went on to say, “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”

Who is protesting?

After Trump’s comments some football teams chose not to come out onto the field at all.  Other teams have allowed their players to protest at their own discretion. We are also starting to see other national sports leagues join in on the protest including the MLB and NBA.

Why is it such a big deal?

Donald Trump thinks kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to American servicemen and women. Many of his supporters and conservatives have jumped on board with this thought process. The president has repeatedly claimed the protest is a protest of the American flag, which it’s not. It is and always was a protest against police brutality and racism in the US.

Is it abnormal for politics to be involved in sporting events?

After Kaepernick first started the protest he was criticized for introducing politics into sports. But is this the first time sporting events have been used as a platform to discuss politics? No, not really. There’s a pretty rich history of American sports stars wading into the political sphere.

Take for example, John Carlos and Tommie Smith in the 1968 Olympics. These athletes made headlines across the world when they raised the black power salute on the podium after winning. That protest brought them death threats, and they were later expelled from the games.

Another example, Muhammad Ali.  He is perhaps one of the best known American athletes to take a major political stand. While not a direct stand against racism, Ali refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War. This refusal involved jail time for Muhammad. He refused to fight for a country that treated him and his race as subhuman.

This is not the first time or the last time that politics will get involved in your favorite sporting events.

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