Summer is going by fast — but doesn’t it always?
In just over a week, the NFL pre-season will again be underway, which means that many Americans will be digging out their favorite jerseys and gearing up for fall football.
It also means that the national anthem controversy will once again be on people’s minds.
The brouhaha over disgruntled sports players kneeling during the national anthem and — in the opinion of many — disrespecting the American flag may have faded from the headlines during the off-season, but it certainly isn’t over.
That controversy was just brought up by Donald Trump, but his audience wasn’t wearing football helmets. Instead, they were wearing the distinctive caps of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the president’s statement brought them to cheers.
During an appearance at the VFW National Convention, Trump alluded to the anthem protests, and drew a stark comparison between pouting and patriotism.
“We don’t apologize for America anymore,” he declared to a packed audience of veterans.
“We stand up for America, and we stand up for the national anthem,” he continued. The veterans broke into a round of raucous applause.
Respecting the national anthem and the American flag are certainly important to vets, but so is another subject that Trump brought up: treating fallen soldiers with dignity.
“Trump revealed that he asked Kim Jong Un at the end of his recent meeting with him to repatriate the remains of fallen soldiers during the Korean war more than half-a-century earlier,” reported The Daily Caller.
“No American left behind,” the president declared, again receiving thunderous applause.
It isn’t the first time that Trump has spoken up about the football players kneeling during the anthem … not even this month.
Just last week, the president posted a tweet with a few “helpful” suggestions for dealing with the issue.
“The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart?” he asked on July 20.
“The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!” the president suggested.
What Trump understands, and what is apparently lost on many NFL players, is that the vast majority of Americans are on the side of the veterans who erupted into applause.
Sure, America loves its football, but not at the expense of basic respect for the nation and its icons of patriotism.
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