Disgraceful that @nyjets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem. Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It’s time to say goodbye to Jets!— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) May 26, 2018
The National Football League (NFL) pleased President Donald Trump when it announced players could be subjected to a fine if they continue to kneel in silent protest during the national anthem, and there could be consequences if they refuse to stand.
Trump and his aides saw the decision a victory for Trump and now, looks like anyone who stands with the protesting players will face criticism by the Trump camp.
Republican congressman from New York Peter King blasted New York Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson for defending the protesting players and in doing so he compared the protests to “players giving Nazi salutes.”
King took to Twitter to express his disapproval and said the idea was “disgraceful.”
“Disgraceful that [New York Jets] owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem. Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It’s time to say goodbye to Jets!” he tweeted.
Shortly after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement about the penalties, Johnson said the team would continue to support players who might choose to kneel anyway — and not issue any fines.
“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players,” he said.
King’s tweet created a furor on Twitter.
It is time to stop comparing a protest AGAINST violence to a salute that was all about violence. Do you get that Peter King?!?— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) May 26, 2018
Yes, this is exactly like a Nazi salute. What a brilliant, rational and sane comparison.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) May 26, 2018
Rep. Peter King, NY says kneeling is like giving Nazi salute. How clueless is he? He’s mad at the Jets for saying they will pay fines. 1/2— NJH Impeach 45 (@NancyHa27028834) May 27, 2018
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the protests in 2016. The idea behind the protest was to draw attention to police brutality, social injustice and racial inequity.
The protest was a move to demand equal treatment to all and to be a voice to thousands of people who experience social injustice just because of the color of their skin.
Clearly, King missed the point of the protest otherwise a sane person would never have compared the powerful anti-oppression protests to a gesture that symbolizes oppression.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters via Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports