Free speech keeping America great

When it comes to upholding American values, the National Football League collectively scored a touchdown Sunday.

All across America, from Los Angeles to Washington D.C., professional football players knelt and locked-arms in solidarity with one another following unwarranted criticism from the highest office in the land.

By doing so, the NFL, which has been subject to criticism across a variety of subjects of late, finally did the right thing.

All of this started when President Donald Trump targeted certain NFL players during another one of his bombastic and childish campaign-style speeches.

In his attack, Trump posed a question to sycophants on whether NFL owners should fire players who have protested during the national anthem for “disrespecting our flag.” He went as far as to call them a derogatory term that won’t be used here.

By making those statements, one has to believe Trump has united an entire league, union and players against him.

All of it is Trump’s own doing.

It’s difficult to further realize our president does not fully comprehend the concept of free speech in our country.

You know, free speech, the idea that kind of makes America a pretty solid country to begin with. The value our fathers and forefathers have fought multiple wars to uphold.

Instead, the man continues to miss the mark and miss the idea that people have a right to say what they want, provided they don’t resort to violence to do so.

It’s shameful how our leader had no qualms calling out a group of minorities who are engaging in a non-violent, peaceful protest that has nothing to do with Old Glory, the national anthem or America, but instead raising awareness about racial inequality. 

This coming from the same man who essentially had to have his arm twisted before calling out racists and white supremacists after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this summer.

It’s one thing to disagree with those football players who choose to protest during the national anthem. That’s every person’s right to agree or disagree with that.

But the moment we begin to threaten the livelihood, and even ostracize, those who choose to engage in their right to non-violent free speech is going a step too far.

That, my friends, is about as un-American as it gets, no matter how loud you scream the “Star Spangled-Banner,” wear American flag related apparel or place a star-spangled bumper sticker on your car. 

The NFL should be commended for supporting those athletes and not backing down to public pressure. But it’s the players who should receive kudos for stepping up and following through with a moment that will undoubtedly be etched in our country’s history.

The day when Americans dropped to one knee to stand up for what truly makes America beautiful.

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