President Donald Trump’s comments on Friday night and throughout the weekend about the NFL needing to fire players who do not stand for the national anthem drew strong responses from inside and outside the football world. Most of those responses fell either in opposition to or support of the President, but Saints quarterback Drew Brees found some slightly different ground. When Brees met with the media after Sunday’s 34-13 victory over the Panthers, Brees was critical of the President as well as of players, including his teammates, who didn’t stand.
National anthem protests have become such a divisive issue that the aim of Colin Kaepernick’s original protest has been lost on a lot of people. NFL on FOX analyst Howie Long took time to remind viewers that these players who decide to protest aren’t disrespecting the country, but instead fighting against racial inequality. Standing for the anthem is something I would not choose to do, but I fully support the right to do it. That being said, what’s being lost in the criticism of the form of the protest is the message of inequality. Put it in perspective: As a white father having raised three boys, there were a million things to worry about on a daily basis. But it’s impossible for me to understand
“It’s not about free speech,” Mnuchin said during an appearance on “This Week” on ABC News. “They can do free speech on their own time. The topic has exploded over the last two days, ever since Trump, in a Friday speech to supporters in Alabama, criticized National Football League players who have used pre-game ceremonies to speak out against police mistreatement of African-Americans and racism in American society more generally.