Trump vs. NFL: How Everyone Lost

After a week of various NFL protests after President Trump’s comments I can say that I am completely tired of this. After the commander in chief’s tumultuous comments most NFL players decided to protest, in some form, in defiance to the president. Although it appeared that nearly everyone was against Trump and his method of leadership, if you can even call it that, the real loser was Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick’s message is non-existent at best after the spread of these protests. His stance on police brutality is widely accepted as a controversial issue in the US that has not truly been addressed. Although I didn’t like his method of bringing attention to this issue, his efforts have been vanquished completely. Players made this about Trump, and the ones that take Kaepernick’s stance have been lost in the crowd. Others are protesting other issues, and his original message has been completely lost.

This movement would have meant something if it happened after Kaepernick’s first protest or when he was on the free agent market (and still is). At that time players like Tom Brady wouldn’t acknowledge it and none of them gave a second thought about protesting this cause. Cam Newton recently called Kaepernick a “legend” when he previously would not take a stance on the issue or join his protest. Now that everybody is on board, now all the players decide to “take a stance”. On Sunday it was a bigger deal to be standing with your hand over your heart than to protest.

The very same NFL owners who linked arms in defiance of Trump’s comments on free speech, are the very same people who haven’t signed Kaepernick to a deal due to the attention his protests would bring. This is completely hypocritical and not only is the timing of this issue terrible for black injustice, but also for Kaepernick who has still not been signed, despite being more than talented enough to be on any NFL roster.

The timing of these protest made them a protest against Trump, so people needing to stop saluting Kaepernick, because it appears the message of his movement has died. NFL players have the right to protest what they want and that’s fine, but this protest will be only a source of division, not unity. The majority of America, 60-70 million voted for Trump, if players really want to bring change they need to meet and discuss and try to come to an understanding.

Sadly, these protests only bring division, and what exactly do they hope to get out of it? They will not remove a president from office over a protest, and will players continue this magnitude of protests for the next four years?  Protests built this country, but the ones that have had impact were specific and clear over their goals. Whether Civil Rights, Women’s Suffrage, Gay Rights, or Labor Movements the intent and goals were clear, but unfortunately this past Sunday just was not that.

Players need to try to speak with the president face to face because these protest will not bring change only division. The only way to get anything done in this country is through compromise, it’s always been that way, so if the players and president want revision they must first try understanding, and if they want change they must first learn to compromise.


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