New NFL season, same old President Donald Trump.
As the latest season of the NFL commenced, Miami Dolphins’ Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson became one of the first players to take a knee during the national anthem against police brutality. Robert Quinn stood for the anthem but raised his fist.
The protests have been long-going and part of a huge controversy that instigated after the president infamously called any player taking a knee, “a son of a bitch.” He also said players should lose their jobs for “disrespecting the flag.”
The protest, which started with Colin Kaepernick, turned into an NFL-wide movement after Trump’s remarks.
However, that did not stop the president, who came back with a new incendiary attack on NFL and kneeling players.
Trump, in a tweet, lamented NFL’s declining viewership.
Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2018
Although, what the POTUS seemed to have not known was that the ratings for NFL and other sports in general have gone down year-after-year and seemingly have nothing to do with the on-going protest.
Former player Donte’ Stallworth was sure to take the president to task for peddling false assertions.
TV ratings are down across all five of the major networks, not just the NFL. But don’t let that simple fact get in the way of your propaganda, Mad King. https://t.co/pLtU3xUr2t— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) September 9, 2018
The latest attack from Trump comes after Nike recently launched an ad campaign with Kaepernick as its face. Huge billboards bearing the former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback’s face, adorn a message of doing what you believe in, no matter the consequences.
The ad campaign saw Nike’s sales rise to 31 percent, despite a lot a bashing from the president.
Just like the NFL, whose ratings have gone WAY DOWN, Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way? As far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until they stand for the FLAG!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
Kaepernick paid a hefty price for his stand against police brutality; he is yet to join a team since 2016. But along the way, he found many footballers, kneeling in solidarity, against the pandemic that is the unjust killing of black men at the hands of police officers.
As Stills and Wilson set the foundation for a new season of raising voice for the same cause, Kaepernick took it to Twitter to praise their “strength” amid threats of losing their jobs and getting penalized for speaking their minds.
My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 9, 2018
“Love is at the root of our resistance!”??? pic.twitter.com/2kSsX4s7EU
The debate regarding the fate of kneeling NFL players is yet to reach a conclusion. While the league initially decided to fine players who knelt during the Star-Spangled Banner, ESPN reported “too many people have stances too strong to figure out a compromise.”
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports