Op-ed: Let's be honest. NFL protests are now about President Trump, not racial equality

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  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 4, 2017 11:39 a.m.

    The Donald wants everything to be about him all the time. He is pleased by division and discord because he thrives on it.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Oct. 2, 2017 1:00 p.m.

    @worf

    "When Kaepernick would not stand for the national anthem, Obama was quiet."

    Patently FALSE. Do you even try to do research before posting opinion as fact?

    Here's Obama's statement on Kaepernick from Oct 2016...

    "The test of our fidelity to our Constitution, to freedom of speech, to our Bill of Rights, is not when it's easy, but when it's hard. We fight sometimes so that people can do things that we disagree with. As long as they're doing it within the law, then we can voice our opinion objecting to it but it's also their right."

    "And I think that it’s also important for us to recognize that sometimes out of these controversies, we start getting into a conversation, and I want everybody to listen to each other. So I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat, and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But I also want people to think about the pain that he may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot."

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 2, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    twin lights.."Kaepernick's stated purpose was "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color". Certainly our nation is not perfect but surely the lot of black people is far superior to what it was just a generation or two ago. The black men of our father's generation had nothing like the opportunities Kaepernick and others have yet they stood for the flag"

    So you think he's wrong in his thinking about the treatment of black people..and?

    You and he can argue/discuss that, maybe you'll change his mind, maybe he'll change yours. None of that changes how he feels now, or why he chose the protest he did.

    I suspect he, was fully aware of the severity of his symbolism, and he has paid a price, and he has opened the conversation on multiple fronts.

    I didn't argue his protest was warranted only that it was appropriate as a tactic for his perceived grievances. Symbol vs. symbol.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Oct. 2, 2017 6:31 a.m.

    Lets be honest -- it is dishonest and hypocritical for protesters to piggy - back their social and political beliefs on someone else venue or concert or public event that is being paid for by their employer or corp. or others and to block roads, places of business, and endanger public transportation to air their grievances. Let them pony up the money, rent their place to protest and invite those of like mind and protest away to their content --But leave your protest out of the arena that belongs to someone else.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 1, 2017 7:06 p.m.

    If the anthem protests have become about trump, it's for the same reason so many things are about trump. He caused it.
    Although, protesting racial inequality and protesting trump are not totally disconnected. Trumps efforts to divide our society certainly are capitalising on race, among other issues.
    He is a terrible person. He thrives on our worst qualities. All protests, it would seem, will eventually lead to trump.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 1, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    pragmatistferlife,

    A protest now against what abrogation of founding principles? When Kaepernick started this Obama vs. Trump was in office so let's ignore the politics of the moment as the White House has changed occupants and parties.

    Kaepernick's stated purpose was "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color". Certainly our nation is not perfect but surely the lot of black people is far superior to what it was just a generation or two ago. The black men of our father's generation had nothing like the opportunities Kaepernick and others have yet they stood for the flag (perhaps more in hope for the promise of what our country could be). Yet, their sons and grandsons now find the flag intolerable while they enjoy opportunities beyond their parents' wildest dreams?

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Oct. 1, 2017 11:04 a.m.

    Trump should be more like Obama?

    * When Kaepernick would not stand for the national anthem, Obama was quiet.
    * When threaten with nukes, stay quiet, so you don't get Kim Jung Un angry.
    * When we have a trade deficit, apologize for American arrogance.
    * Sneaking a pallet of cash to Syria.
    * Tell Americans they will be fined if they can't buy health insurance.

    Sorry folks! Blaming Trump is missing the target. He hasn't caused America's problems, or lost the war on poverty.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Oct. 1, 2017 7:49 a.m.

    Now a word from their sponsors. I think that the action will have a reaction. My guess is the pocket is going to hurt.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 1, 2017 7:35 a.m.

    twin lights, "The flag is an emblem of our country and its founding principles. Even when those principles are not perfectly realized. Whether or not we agree with or support a particular politician is irrelevant. We are Americans and owe what (not who) the flag represents our respect."

    Yes, and if you earnestly feel those founding principles are not just not being realized perfectly, but being violated so severely that it brings into question the existence of those principles for a particular group, how better to protest than to quietly protest the symbol of those principles.

    That's how this started, and what it still stands for. A quiet protest against the "violation" of our founding principles.

    What has changed in all this is a growing public support for a citizens right to publically protest by publically not showing customary deference to symbols they feel represent violated principles.

    Some say there are better ways to do this. Tell me what would be more effective? The rights reaction to all this is proof enough Kpaernicks tactic was effective.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Oct. 1, 2017 7:09 a.m.

    I played football a hundred years ago and we always dropped to one knee to have prayer before a game. What is the big deal if they do it to support their cause.

    Tim Tebow became famous for his dropping to one knee to give thanks.

    Only hateful people have twisted this subject because it is black people who are protesting.

  • wgirl Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 11:35 p.m.

    I think the players responded like they did because Trump - the President of the United States - called their mothers dogs. I'm sure they were deeply hurt and angry about their mothers being denigrated in that way and so rallied around those that had been protesting. As the author points out, this was not a large spread protest until the President decided to revert back to his days as a reality TV personality and start yelling and cursing. (He will say anything to get attention and adulation).

    I didn't agree with Obama's policies, but at least he didn't verbally attack women and mothers.

    Trump's behavior continues to be utterly shameful - if the NFL players took a knee to express their disapproval of such behavior then good for them.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 10:30 p.m.

    If racial injustice were as prevalent as some people - Kaepernik, for instance, please tell me how Obama got elected President; If the police are so against Blacks, why are Blacks overwhelmingly killed by other Blacks. By the way, a lot of those police are also Black.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 30, 2017 10:01 p.m.

    If our country stands for lofty premises, as in equal justice for all and equality before the eyes of the law, then the flag is a good (but not the only) representational point. However, it is only a flag. Hyperventilating patriotism does not a sacred object make.

    If our country fails to deliver the lofty premises, then a protest is most appropriate. Especially one in which no one is harmed and no harsh words are spoken.

    The people who have denigrated the professional athletes seem to misrepresent and even malign the intentions of these people.

    The country has not transcended his past racial stains yet, as evidenced by the violent deaths of innocent minorities at the hands of our law enforcement officials. Such acts incidentally which more often than not go unpunished. It is in the great tradition of American free speech that these athletes draw our attention to the perpetration of violence against minorities.

    It is an act of the highest and best form of patriotism. To remind America that we have yet to meet our lofty goals. Those who say otherwise are the ones of suspect patriotism.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:38 p.m.

    Yes they are and this type of protest is ineffectual and most Americans do not want over pampered millionaire entertainers ... Many of dubious character, trying to make political points

    So just play the game because we could care less what you think just like the folks in Hollywood

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 3:11 p.m.

    Yeap. Boycott these guys is the bast way to level the he playing field.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 11:44 a.m.

    It is still about racial injustice. Trump's inflammatory comments just proliferated the protests.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 30, 2017 11:29 a.m.

    The flag is an emblem of our country and its founding principles. Even when those principles are not perfectly realized. Whether or not we agree with or support a particular politician is irrelevant. We are Americans and owe what (not who) the flag represents our respect.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 10:01 a.m.

    Again, Trump woman this issue. No players knelt on Thursday and the next day NBA commish says player have to stand. Pretty simple cause/effect here folks. President Trump spoke for the American people and the the saddle exults are pretty clear. If you can't see it, you will when he gets re-elected.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:56 a.m.

    Op-ed: Let's be honest. NFL protests are now about President Trump, not racial equality

    ========

    Of good grief -- another shameful Trump supporter.

    Let's be honest. Trump makes everything about Trump and he should have just keep his big mouth shut and kept out it in the 1st place!

  • Edmunds Tucker St George, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:44 a.m.

    See DesNews article Sept. 15, 2016, Kaepernick hits back at ESPN analyst who said he should 'be quiet and sit in the shadows'. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (35) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, California, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Kaepernick chose to take a stand and repeatedly kneel during the national anthem — acts that have made him the center of attention. " Kaepernick said. "To me, you're telling me that my position as a backup quarterback and being quiet is more important than peoples' lives." Kaepernick has said that his decision not to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" is based on his belief that there are profound injustices in the U.S., specifically citing police brutality.''

  • Lets check the facts Santa Fe, NM
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:32 a.m.

    A few years ago when "streaking" become the fad of getting attention the media outlets quickly discovered that if you turn off the cameras and don't discuss it, it went away pretty quickly. I'm not sure why we aren't doing the same with this new fad.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    @Copybook Headings,

    No, let's be very clear. There is a vast difference, moral and legal, between private individuals and organizations starting boycotts to pressure companies and industries with which they have a beef for the outrage de jour, and the president of the United States using his office to actively calling on private companies to make employment decisions based on employees' alleged lack of patriotism, and using his position to call for boycotts of these companies if they do not comply.

    An American president is calling for economic retaliation against American companies in response to their decision to let their employees exercise a Constitutional right. Let that sink in. Republicans would have rightly crucified Obama for anything like this, but Trump never spoke truer words than his comment about shooting someone on 5th Avenue

    If any NFL player is fired or suspended at this point, Trump may have opened himself up to legal liability under federal statutes. Not to mention the potential chilling effects of his bully pulpit demagoguery on the First Amendment.

  • misplaced American Fork, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 9:10 a.m.

    The author disingenuously forgot to mention that Trump's comments are more about the politics of his base than it is about patriotism! Flag waving and standing for that national anthem is an outward act that is not proof of actual patriotism. Kneeling is not real indication that a person is not a patriot. Patriotism is ones heart. Putting too mush into the criticism of ones outward behavior concerning these acts does not do credit to the person making them.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 8:31 a.m.

    No they are not about Trump, but his denigrating the players and their mothers is a sad commentary on the sad state of race relations in America. There is something wrong when a policeman shoots a black man in the back for running away, yet takes a white suspect that has killed a church full of black people to Burger King on his way to jail.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:45 a.m.

    @worf;
    " A person who will mismanage our tax money, not support our country, and back down from challenges."

    Let's see....Donald Trump somehow mismanaged his money so bad that he managed to bankrupt casinos. Casinos are like having a license to print money. He supported our country by getting 5 deferments to Vietnam. He's backed down to hundreds of lawsuits by settling out of court. Please stop listening to what Trump says and pay attention to what Trump actually does. They are nowhere close to congruence.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:45 a.m.

    The author's speculation that these protests are all about Donald Trump is misplaced. Indeed, he's missed the whole point of the protests, which are not about our president but about the rampant racism which is still very much with us today -- more than half a century after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:26 a.m.

    the racial division... was there before Trump. It was from police shootings that happened when Obama was President.

    2bits you repeat this multiple times. What's the significance of the Kaperneck protest starting when Obama was President?

    The issue at hand is Trump inserting his opinion into the controversy in a public and profane way has sparked (both during the campaign and now as President) an increase in players behavior. This has nothing at all to do with Obama.

    I suppose this is your clumsy way of once again accusing Obama of racial division, but it makes no sense in this scenario.

  • Nichol Draper West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:26 a.m.

    President Trump is the greatest president we ever have had. With just a few words, all the players, coaches and owners of the NFL are falling over themselves to display their ignorance. The news media can't get enough Trump! I don't read the articles, I just count the headlines with Trump's name in them. A good Trump day has double digits of Trump headlines.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 30, 2017 7:11 a.m.

    "What percentage of fans are republican?"

    What does that matter? Are you saying only Republicans revere the flag? Only Republicans serve in the military? That only Republicans are in our law enforcement? That only Republicans are anti-black NFL player? What in the world were you entering by that comment?

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 5:08 a.m.

    @worf

    “You don't use the National Anthem to insult someone.”

    One can only be insulted if they choose to be. The other option is open dialog but that takes work. Being insulted is probably easier.

  • RRB SLC, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 1:35 a.m.

    The DNC's feelings are hurt deeply. They have not rested since they lost the election trying to discredit Trump. Antifa is not getting the response it use to, and universities are allowing conservatives to speak at their schools. They need this diversion.

    People can say it's Trump, but both parties are using the media. What we have here is a media war.

    Not honoring the flag or the military may not be their purpose, but it is the end result.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Sept. 30, 2017 12:06 a.m.

    My oh my all the despair over divisive language from the current President. Quick ... which President said Latinos should go out and punish their enemies? Which President told Americans to get in their neighbor's faces and argue with them? Which President said if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin? Which President called an entire police department stupid?

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 11:57 p.m.

    @ Unreconstructed Reb

    "calling on private companies to punish them for exercising First Amendment rights, tweeting support for boycotts of their employers unless they relent, and actively encouraging the deepening divide in our country"

    Democrats have been doing this to ordinary citizens for years. And it's exactly why Trump was elected.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 10:49 p.m.

    Of course the protests are about Trump. Trump made them about Trump with his ridiculous comments.

    Kaepernick protested months ago. Trump says nothing. Even before he opened his mouth, the ongoing protests were few and far between.

    Instead of saying what he said, here are some more professional ways Trump could have handled this:

    -Said nothing
    -Have an aide make a prepared statement
    -Comment that he didn't agree with Kaepernick's actions, but acknowledge free speech allowed Kaepernick to take the actions he did
    -Focus instead on helping Puerto Rico and invite Kaepernick and other players to donate time, money to the cause

    or heaven forbid...
    -Contact Kaepernick, get his side of the story, invite him to express his concerns in a productive setting...perhaps form a commission to gather data and analysis on crime, discrimination, inner city poverty, etc and ask Kaepernick to join that effort

    Instead, Trump, in his minuscule wisdom, chose to insult the player, the NFL org, the player's race(indirectly), and first amendment, and the player's mother.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 10:40 p.m.

    Injustices based on race are worthy of protest.
    Trump, with all he brings in hubris, ignorance, elitism, ego, hypocrisy, privilege, and incompetence, is worthy of protest.
    It may be about injustice; it may be about trump.
    Let's be honest, protest is justified regardless.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Sept. 29, 2017 10:14 p.m.

    You don't use the National Anthem to insult someone.

    Some folks want a shy, quiet, and timid president. A person who will mismanage our tax money, not support our country, and back down from challenges. You can bet, Barry would take a knee as well.

    That's not Trump!

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 9:31 p.m.

    It is nice that the writer can get in the heads of the players and tell us what they were thinking and why they did it.

    My crystal ball told me that they were expressing solidarity with the black players (75% of the NFL) or choosing to avoid a union issue by telling them to "shut up and play football."

    They chose to stick it to the cops and the fans.

    That's fine. Fans can vote with their feet.

    Now we see the NFL doing a little backpedaling on their so-called principles.

    The NFL is a dying enterprise anyway.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 8:42 p.m.

    @2 bits

    “Many criticized Kappernicks disrespecting the flag”

    Kaepernick’s protest was never about disrespecting the flag. Not. Once.Ever. It’s time to stop using that as an excuse to justify our unwillingness to recognize that racism is alive and well in America. That was Kaepernick’s message. It’s time we acknowledge it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 8:23 p.m.

    @Utah Girl 4:37 p.m.
    RE: "Not true. On August 28, 2016"...
    ---
    I know what happened on August 28th.

    What I'm saying is... Many criticized Kappernicks disrespecting the flag (me included) last year, when Obama was President. Last season. Kappernick isn't in the NFL this season. His protests were last season (when Obama was President, not Trump).

    They were divisive before Trump came along.

    He made it worse, but he didn't start the divisive protests. They were going on before he was President.

    I said they should respect the flag back last season when they were doing these protests and Obama was President. Same as I'm saying today.

    I know Trump said something August 28, 2016 Trump. But my point was... The protests were happening last season too. And Trump wasn't President then.

    I know Trump is a divider. But so are these protests.

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 8:04 p.m.

    With a few words, President Trump decimated a corrosive false narrative that impugned the symbols of our great nation. Say what you will about Donald Trump, but he is a brilliant politician and a patriot.

  • Truth2017 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 7:25 p.m.

    What percentage of fans are republican?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Sept. 29, 2017 6:36 p.m.

    Trump managed to turn the issue from being about civil rights to being about himself.

    Imaging the nations collective shock. Rather than getting into a dialog about what the real problem was - and it wasn't players kneeling during the anthem - that was a symptom - Trump managed to make it about himself. To a rabid crowd of deep southern conservative voters, the issue as a .......... NFL football player kneeling instead of standing.

    Main issue not hurricane recovery. Not Iran. Not North Korea. Not health care repeal. Not immigration. Not a new budget or tax reform. Nope..... what this crowd wanted to hear was about Trumps disdain for a football player who didn't stand.

    Trump is either really really smart ..... or really really ignorant.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 6:26 p.m.

    "I don’t respect grown men acting like children throwing a tantrum just to "take a shot" at Donald Trump. "

    Are you kidding me. Who is really throwing a tantrum here. As I recall President Trump called them a vulgar name. Do those people kneeling call Trump a vulgar name. I suggest you think long and hard about Trump and his behavior.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 29, 2017 5:55 p.m.

    I wonder who Trump will have left to insult or disparage after 4 (hopefully less) years in office.

    Veterans, racial minorities, pro athletes, judges, almost any woman, and the list goes on of the targets of his barbs and lies.

    Has the country no shame left?

  • cthulhu_fhtagn Seattle, WA
    Sept. 29, 2017 5:00 p.m.

    Even so....still a worthy cause.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 4:52 p.m.

    Trump is purely outcomes oriented. Like him or not and I'm no fan, he gets things done. This is another example. From what I understand, NO players in last nights game knelt (I didn't watch it, but heard) and The NBA commis just issued a statement about expecting players to stand for the anthem. I'd say Trump won on this one. Mission accomplished.

  • Husker2 Odessa, TX
    Sept. 29, 2017 4:44 p.m.

    So Trump said some mean words and hurt the feelings of these big tough football players. Oh my goodness. How terrible. How do they ever concentrate enough to cash their million dollar pay checks??

    In the military, I was called all sorts of names by people just as ignorant and offensive as Donald Trump. I didn't protest or whine about them. Instead of protesting, I pitied the poor fools and prayed for them to overcome their ignorance.

    After all, why protest during the national anthem?? What does that have to do with Donald Trump?? All it does is offend a large segment of America who have supported these players.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 4:37 p.m.

    @ 2 bits

    "We were divided when it was just Kappernick and a few friends in San Francisico (no Trump comment then).

    Not true. On August 28, 2016 Trump suggested Kaepernick would be better off if he left the country.

    From the Guardian: "I have followed it and I think it’s personally not a good thing,” Trump told the Dori Monson Show, a conservative afternoon talk-radio program in the Seattle area, of the controversy. “I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try – it won’t happen.”

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Sept. 29, 2017 4:33 p.m.

    "Nope the divider Trump brought this on, as each new protester declared "I am Sparticus.""

    Prometheus, that is the perfect analogy for what is happening in the NFL. This issue was fading until Trump poured gasoline on the fire in front of a crowd in Alabama that he knew would respond to his obvious dog whistling.

    It was entirely unnecessary, but it has enabled Trump to weaponize patriotism. The NFL players have responded.

    We have a president who is hurling obscenities at American citizens, calling on private companies to punish them for exercising First Amendment rights, tweeting support for boycotts of their employers unless they relent, and actively encouraging the deepening divide in our country. This is unprecedented and until now entirely unimaginable. The dignity of the executive office is in tatters. May Psalm 109:8 come to pass.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 29, 2017 4:18 p.m.

    The controversy over Kaepernick had been fading for some time and was flickering out when Trump abruptly breathes new life into it by bellowing like a mad bull, calling NFL protestors foul names, accusing them of making us all ashamed. Demeaning others is a common Trump tactic that become familiar to us.

    It always seemed perfectly timed to fan the flames and keep the public in a constant uproar over one thing after another. It occurs with such regularity that I can’t see it as mere coincidence.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 4:08 p.m.

    RE: "Trump divides people" (3:27 p.m.)
    ---
    That may be true. But don't pretend these protests aren't also divisive.

    These protests are dividing America. And we were divided by them before Obama left office. We were divided when it was just Kappernick and a few friends in San Francisico (no Trump comment then). There were many opinion articles back then, with people very passionately divided about patriotism and the protests (that's division). No Trump back then.

    Don't pretend it just started. It didn't. The shootings that started them happened 3 years ago (Obama was President, not Trump).

    They got much worse this year (because Trump got involved).

    Anything that Trump gets involved in gets much worse. Because some people hate Trump. So anything he says flips them out. Yes he made it worse by saying anything. And he made it worse than worse by saying such ugly things. But the division... the racial division... was there before Trump. It was from police shootings that happened when Obama was President.

    Am I wrong?

    Did we not have players disrespecting the flag before Trump became President?

    Yes. We did. And they were divisive then too.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 3:52 p.m.

    Let's be honest... they WERE about racial equality (when Obama was President). But they are surely about Trump now. I don't know how people let that happened, but it's a sad thing. Because it turns these protests into petty partisan bickering matches and people taking pot shots at Trump, calling him a "Bum", etc. Which detracts from the discussion we really should be having, about racial equality.

    If it hadn't become about Trump... the protests could have done something useful.

    Alas... they have turned in to partisan bickering matches and people taking their pot shots at the other side, instead of a mature and constructive discussion of the issues of race that actually started these protests (when OBAMA was President).

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 3:42 p.m.

    I think your missing the point, When Donald called on those player to be fired and referred to their mothers in a deplorable manner, he caused the rest of the players, to defend their fellow "employee's, right to take a knee.

    Bringing up that you have no right to free speech as an employee, has nothing to do with this, since their employers haven't said a word, or have actively joined them in solidarity.

    Nope the divider Trump brought this on, as each new protester declared "I am Sparticus."

    A real Leader unites, Trump like to feed his base, and in turn they feed his ego.

  • TMR Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 29, 2017 3:40 p.m.

    This op-ed glosses over a very important point: Trump denigrated the NFL players by referring to them as SOBs. His disrespect or bigotry is one of a long line of similar statements that for whatever reason his supporters and this op-ed writer completely ignore. Hence, the unity in the NFL is not just to oppose Trump; it is also intended to oppose racism, crassness, and disrespect.

  • JapanCougar Layton, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 3:36 p.m.

    Nailed it!

    The reality is that politicians and politics thrives off division, fear, and anger. Without controversy we would be far less motivated to be politically engaged, and if all candidates said the same things and didn't turn their oponents into bigots, liars, theifs, and ne'er-do-wells we wouldn't know who to vote for. Of course, they are aware of this and find ways to keep themselves relevant.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 3:27 p.m.

    How is Dez Bryant's comment any less honest than Kevin McCarthy's comment about the actual motivations behind the Benghazi investigation?

    McCarthy said, "Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping."

    Trump stoked this controversy solely for political gain. What more "red meat" topic could throw an Alabama audience into complete frenzy? Why was Trump in Alabama in the first place? Because he had a horrible week. He needed his little feelings assuaged. He made those comments against the counsel of his advisors.

    How could those profane words Trump used to describe Kaepernick not personally transfer to a majority of the NFL community? How could any black NFL player feel race relations have improved under Trump? How many NFL players know Kaepernick is talented enough to be playing in the league right now? Is he worse than Mike Glennon, a starting NFL quarterback who has the mobility of a statue?

    Trump divides people and we are only seeing the beginning of it. Whining about how this protest is unfairly directed at Trump is short-sighted analysis in the extreme.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 29, 2017 3:04 p.m.

    OK, let's be honest. These protests, which were not about Trump, have become all about Trump and the one to blame for that is no one other than Trump.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 29, 2017 3:01 p.m.

    This is true for most who got involved for the first time this past weekend. They were doing it as a display of support for their teammates or players (in the case of management joining in) in the face of Trump's remarks. Very few team statements referred to the original issue being protested (Seattle and maybe 1 or 2 others).