By Charlese Freeman
Student Life Editor
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b***h off the field right now. He is fired. He’s fired!” voiced Donald Trump.
According to CNN news, on Friday Sept. 22 at a rally for Senator Luther Strange of Alabama, Trump expressed his disapproval of football players who either sit or protest in some way during the national anthem—and scolded the NFL owners for not coming down harder on them.
These comments were in response to NFL players kneeling during the singing of the national anthem instead of traditionally standing.
Since the players stand of taking a knee is a political demonstration against racial injustice, this made people question Trump’s political views on racial injustice in America. Trump’s comments sparked outrage among professional athletes, owners, coaches and fans.
In fact, Trump’s statements began an overflow of the quiet protest among football teams, all over the country.
Professional athletes were not the only ones who had thoughts about the president’s comments.
“I agree with the players because what they are doing is bringing light to inequality and injustice that has been going on for many years now in the United States,” said ESU accounting major and football player Calvin Fielding.
In light of the president’s remarks, some teams chose to stand and lock arms during the national anthem as a public demonstration.
Some teams including the Seahawks and the Titans, simply did not participate in the national anthem all together by staying in their locker rooms during the anthem.
“They’re kneeling as a sign of social and racial injustice. I don’t think they should be punished for it,” said ESU student Jada Martin, who is member of the field hockey team.
While the NFL kneeling controversy was reaching its boiling point, a new flame would in the NBA began involving professional athletes.
Similarly, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors fell victim to Trump’s critical eye when he was singled out for refusing to accept an invitation to the White House.
Curry’s team supported his decision and as a team refused to accept the White House invitation. Curry’s reasons ties back to social inequality and the simple fact that he does not support Trump’s political views.
In response, Trump said, “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation withdrawn!”
Curry responded, “by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye.”
Similarly, students agree with the Curry’s stance.
“He’s trying to relieve us of our first amendment. There’s more important things he needs to worry about. If they don’t want to stand for the country that’s falling apart, I don’t blame them. I might not stand myself. Standing means you’re proud. Most of us aren’t anymore,” said CJ McCullough, a computer forensics and criminal justice major at ESU.
When asked how Trump should respond to the backlash at this point, McCullough said, “Like I said, he has more important things to worry about. I think it’s okay for him to make a statement if something bothers him but not call him a son of a bitch especially on live TV. He needs to apologize for that.”
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