Despite plummeting ratings and ticket sales over the past two years, combined with admonitions from fans to leave politics out of the game, several NFL players have resumed kneeling or raising a fist in protest during the playing of the national anthem ahead of preseason football games.
Though many of the protesting players have asserted that the protests are merely about police brutality and racial inequality, the fact that the protests specifically occur during the national anthem and not at any other time has been viewed as highly inflammatory and offensive to many, not to mention blatantly disrespectful toward the American flag and the men and women who’ve died to defend it.
The league had announced a new policy over the summer that was supposed to prevent and prohibit players from engaging in the protests this year, but backed off of enforcing the new rule after the player’s association lodged a complaint against it.
The issue was a topic of discussion Sunday during “Fox & Friends” when the co-hosts were joined by former Tucson, Arizona, police officer Brandon Tatum, who has taken a rather dim view of the timing the players have chosen to conduct their protests.
“It’s clearly about the flag, about the national anthem,” Tatum said of the protests. “I mean, the people who are dividing this country — it’s not the president, it has nothing to do with the president.”
“If you’re sitting there taking a knee, pumping a fist, doing whatever you think is necessary — during the national anthem — you’re causing people in this country to be frustrated with you,” he continued.
“The president is just reflecting the thoughts of most Americans that take offense to the foolery that they’re doing in the NFL, for no reason. It has accomplished zero,” asserted Tatum.
“And one thing I’d like to tell these players is that, if you wanna take a knee or pump your fist, go pump your fist at Planned Parenthood. Go pump your fist at Chicago, where black people are getting shot every day and 11-year-old boys are laying dead in the streets,” he suggested.
“Go pump your fist at single-parent homes, things that are causing the destruction and demise in the black community,” he pleaded.
“And another thing,” added Tatum. “Once you’re finished pumping your fist and you get off your sorry knee, go to the local police department, fill out an application and serve your community,” he implored of the protesting players.
“That is what I’d like to see. I’d have more respect if they do that — and until you do that, don’t say anything to me, don’t take a knee, I don’t wanna hear your sympathy,” he concluded.
Tatum pulled no punches in his suggestions to the protesting players about when and where they ought to be kneeling or pumping their fists in anger.
Indeed, the locations pointed out by Tatum — Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, the shooting gallery that is the city of Chicago and single-parent homes — are all provably detrimental to the life expectancy and ultimate lifetime success of black people and the black community more generally.
To be sure, there are occasional instances of police using excessive force against citizens (of all races), and there does still remain a level of inequality among races (to a certain extent), and most Americans would have no problem discussing those issues if they were brought forward in a respectful manner and appropriate setting instead of during the national anthem ahead of a football game.
It would be nice if the protesting players heeded the words of this former police officer so that the issues they want to discuss could be properly addressed without involving the anthem and flag in a partisan manner, but given his prior profession and the fact that he leans conservative and challenges the liberal narrative that all blacks should be aggrieved victims coddled by Democrats, his words of wisdom will likely be ignored.
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