President Trump went off on another one of his Cranky-Old-White-Man-In-Chief rants last night at an Alabama rally for Luther Strange, his pick in the runoff election between the two deplorable candidates vying for the Republican slot in the race for Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat. Predictably veering off topic and playing to the like-minded racists in his base, he decided to vent his spleen on the subject of NFL players expressing their first amendment rights by refusing to stand for the national anthem at football games.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,’” Trump declaimed. “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.”
He told the crowd that these sorts of protests “disrespect our heritage,” seemingly forgetting that our American heritage includes the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression for all citizens. He continued his verbal diarrhea by encouraging the crowd to boycott games when the athletes protest.
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“But do you know what’s hurting the game more than that?” he said. “When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.”
While he didn’t specifically mention Colin Kaepernick, it was obvious who he had in mind when he mentioned taking the knee.
The reaction to Trump’s deranged spouting off at the mouth has been vociferous, with numerous sports luminaries and other celebrities pointing out the hypocrisy of a president who demonizes athletes who express their firmly held beliefs while supporting the alt-right, neo-nazis in Charlotteville.
The best reaction by far, however, comes from Colin Kaepernick’s mother, Teresa Kaepernick. Replying to Jamil Smith’s tweet recounting Trump’s comments, she said:
Guess that makes me a proud bitch!
— Teresa Kaepernick (@B4IleaveU) September 23, 2017
You own it, Mom! With a president who speaks of the NFL players who protest like he’s the one with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, we need more mothers (and fathers, sisters, and brothers) who are willing to stand up for their beliefs and for the rights to express them.