Be Constructive, Not Destructive

26 Sep

I cannot say that I care – much – about the current crisis in the American National Football League. My time in school left me with a profound dislike of team sports and a very definite mistrust of those who played them. The idea that someone’s worth should be measured by their skill at kicking a football around a muddy field is distasteful to me – my heroes are policemen, firemen, military personnel and good writers, not sportsmen.

And I’m British, so I don’t have any skin in this particular game <grin>.

But watching all the articles popping up in my Facebook page left me wondering if there was any actual point to the protests. Leaving aside the question of whether or not people should stand for the national anthem or not, does it really do anything if football players take the knee? Do they get anything out of this beyond some bad publicity? Most importantly of all, are they actually doing anything constructive?

Look, it’s easy to protest these days. Anyone can be an activist. You can go online and share articles until you’ve cleansed your friend list of everyone who doesn’t agree with you 100%, or re-tweet posts from famous left/right-wingers until you’re blue in the face. Or you can go to a protest march, where – as a general rule – there is very little actual danger. President Trump is not in the habit of sending soldiers to mow down protesters, unlike – say – the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and quite a few other countries that can reasonably be described as prison camps above and mass graves below.

And this had an odd effect – if ‘protest’ is something as simple as pushing a button on a computer, does it do anything at all?

Is all of this protest simply sound and fury, signifying nothing? And has Colin Kaepernick actually achieved anything?

As far as I can tell, the answer is no … beyond losing his position and triggering off a cascade of hysterical screaming from both sides of the endless political war. Kaepernick remains unsigned, at least in part, because any team that hired him would face the wrath of an angry public (and tweets from Donald Trump). Why would any responsible owner want to take the chance of hiring him? (A problem made worse by his girlfriend once comparing a potential manager to a slave owner.) It is difficult to take Kaepernick seriously because he doesn’t seem to have considered what he’s actually doing. It’s easy to protest, but harder to do anything effective.

People generally tune out hysterical screeching and emotional blackmail. Extremists on both sides of the culture wars are regarded, more and more, as dangerously destructive forces rather than people willing to work together to solve the nation’s problems. Would it not have been better, perhaps, if Colin Kaepernick – a very wealthy young man – had set out to find a more constructive solution to his woes?

According to a brief web search, Kaepernick’s net worth is $25 million dollars. On one hand, he gave up a lot of money for his protests; on the other hand, $25 million in the bank is enough for him to live in luxury for the rest of his life. What if he’d invested it, instead, in education for young black men? He has money, fame (he certainly has high name recognition even now, although mainly for the wrong reasons) and plenty of connections he could use to get more donations. It wouldn’t be hard to set up a trust fund – and, with the right sort of people in charge (people who actually know what they’re doing), it might actually do a great deal of good.

There’s nothing flashy about this. Nor is there anything that most reasonable people will find controversial. It wouldn’t suit someone who thrives on drama and controversy and generally being the centre of attention. But it would be constructive, not destructive, and it would be something most people could get behind.

The key to changing the world is not hysterical screeching and dramatic, but ultimately pointless protests. The key is understanding what is actually going on, finding basic solutions, selling them to everyone involved and carrying on until the problem is finally resolved. It isn’t enough – for example – to be against Trump. You have to be for something better if you want people to vote for you. Practical solutions trump (hah) screeching every day.

On one hand, an educational trust (or whatever) won’t make the news. But on the other, it might actually do some good …

… Which is more than can be said for pointless (and potentially suicidal) kneeling protests.

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52 Responses to “Be Constructive, Not Destructive”

  1. Jack Hudler September 26, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

    All I see is the NFL shooting themselves in the other foot when they are already hobbling along on poor attendance and TV ratings.

  2. FarWalker September 26, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

    As usual I enjoyed your observations. They are spot on. And, I believe Mr. Hudler is correct with his observation. The NFL has everything to lose by taking on a sitting president critical of overpaid athletes failure to respect the American flag. Even if the NFL claims a “moral” victory they still lose as a majority of Americans find the athlete’s actions distasteful.

  3. Don September 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    Love small man talking about small things when there is health care, north Korea, Puerto Rico (must be not white enough), etc. Nfl issue not going to effect your live directly but these can be.

    Short sighted.

    • FarWalker September 26, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

      Not really. Healthcare – we’re headed to a single pay system as Obama care will collapse totally within the next year or so and the Republicans can’t repeat and replace as promise; North Korea Dash will be melted glass if they get out of hand; Puerto Rico is it in the hands of the politicians and as I recall reading this morning more than $1 billion has been allocated for recovery and probably more is needed. However, there is little that individuals can do to help them recover. Their skin color has nothing to do with it. Respecting the flag is not a small thing as several relatives and friends have given their lives in defense of this country and and the defense of other countries.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 1, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

        Actually race plays a very large part, as it has been for the last six decades, from the beginning of segregation all the way down to integration. Equal rights in the United States has never been applied fully to African Americans. Constitutional protests whether it involves marching in the street or taking a knee has always been impactful. In a practical sense if there was no impact then that would not be supported in other areas. This protest is winding its way through all of the sports communities around the country. The right to peacefully protest to affect social change has been a mainstay in the United States since its inception. These kinds of protest are what got social change culminating in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. To say that it is not constructive shows that you really do not understand how peaceful protest worked in the United States.

    • Andrew Jones September 27, 2017 at 6:25 am #

      Just because someone isn’t talking about your personal favorite issue at this exact moment doesn’t make them a racist.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 8, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

        I am not sure what you’re talking about. This protest isn’t about personal issues but about the failure to fully application of the Constitution to all and not just to some.

  4. P September 26, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

    Today’s world is awash in information and opinions. And it’s easier than ever to get an opinion out there in the meaningless chatter, but it’s also easier than ever for people to filter out anyone they disagree with. People find it comfortable when others agree with them. And, often because of comfort rather than malice, people exclude the viewpoints of those that they don’t agree with.

    But then, what can one do when someone else not only disagrees, but also has some degree of control over their lives? This happens all the time, and can even be a good thing (society generally believes jailing a murderer to be a good thing even if the murderer does not). But what happens when the one with the control does not know that their actions are harming another simply because they have surrounded themselves with people who aren’t harmed, or are even helped by their actions. The other person would be desperate to tell the authority about the negative consequences in the hope that, with all the information, a different decision would be made.

    Some people would say that, yes, decision makers need to be informed, but that’s not the role of sport teams and athletes. They’re not being paid for their opinions, after all. But there are few, if any, other areas of interest in the public where it’s acceptable, even encouraged, to talk with people who disagree with you. A Cowboys fan will debate why their team is superior with a Broncos fan, and they will often even begrudgingly admire the other for sticking to their convictions. Sports naturally bring a wide group of differently minded people together. And American Football brings more people in America together than pretty much anything else.

    A professional athlete doing something publicly therefore has an opportunity to break through the walls of opinion filtering that people naturally put up. It’s harder to dismiss a problem as nonexistent if someone people generally respect says there’s a problem. Those NFL players are accomplishing something that is near impossible for almost anyone else—they’ve captured the attention of the public and have held it. The message of the protest may get blurred, but people want to know what they are protesting. And for a democracy nothing is really more valuable than the general population learning about a cause and the potential for them to rally around it. The NFL players certainly thought the opportunity was worth risking their jobs for it.

  5. rd726rd September 26, 2017 at 11:42 pm #

    I suggest you watch the video that David Harris Jr. made. It is likely one of the best ones out there on the subject.

  6. Bruno September 27, 2017 at 12:16 am #

    “What if he’d invested it, instead, in education for young black men?” – Kaepernick has donated 1 million dollars to a wide assortment of charities, all of which can be found my a simple web search or seen on his website. http://kaepernick7.com/

    • chrishanger September 29, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

      I don’t know where the money went, precisely, but concentrating it would probably have had better results. But building up a single school and academic tradition takes years.

      Chris

  7. shrekgrinch September 27, 2017 at 12:33 am #

    This NFL thing is nothing.

    The BIG fight is CBS ticking off everyone about Star Trek.

  8. Pyo September 27, 2017 at 1:07 am #

    You can’t change anything without people knowing about it. And protesting in small ways is better than not doing anything.

    I really don’t get the criticism here. This is important to him, and anyone following the topic even remotely should realize that the topic legitimately is an important one. It’s been a continuous problem for years now (well, it’s always been a problem, but now at least it’s acknowledged as being one), and hasn’t gotten any better. So he’s used an asset he has – his popularity and spot in the public limelight – do something about it. That’s no more or less distasteful than using his money.

    It’s not like he’s setting flags on fire or driving cars into protesters or anything. Now, there’s plenty of ways one might suggest he could have otherwise protested or why sports should stay politics free or whatever other objections. But I think no matter whether one precisely agrees or not one should still be able to respect his intentions.

    And I really have to disagree that pragmatic approaches solve everything. If the world would be so simple, we wouldn’t have Trump, nobody would starve, and global warming wouldn’t kill us all in another hundred or so years. If anything, this type of thing is the opposite: these are emotional issues. They need emotional approaches and emotional solutions.

    Of course, in the end you also need to actually do something about beyond just talking. But you aren’t getting anywhere without getting it out there and reaching people. Which, as your own post showns – suddenly you’re talking about something you proclaim you don’t even have much interest in – it has done. Well, how can you sincerely claim it was useless then? Debate is always the first necessary step. And that’s what’s currently happening (also thanks to Trump happily fanning the flames, the idiot… ^^).

    Also, I have to say that this:
    “What if he’d invested it, instead, in education for young black men?”
    is distasteful. How that’d fix police brutality? People that need extra education here are the white bigots.

    • Andrew Jones September 27, 2017 at 6:23 am #

      If we assume the intent was to protest police brutality, why didn’t he directly protest the police? Why wasn’t the protest aimed at symbols of the police? Why didn’t he call for the local police protection at games to be replaced with private security? There are innumerable options for protesting the police that actually involve the police and symbols of the police.

      His protest didn’t do any of that. His protest involved a national symbol, a symbol of “We The People”, not a police symbol. His protest communicated that the nation as a whole is unworthy of respect, that because he feels some behave badly, the entirety is without merit.

      • PhilippeO September 27, 2017 at 6:51 am #

        Flag means different thing to different people.

        Kaepernick kneel as respect to those who become casualty of ‘imperfection’ of America and acknowledgement that America is always works in progress that need constant improvement.

      • Andrew Jones September 27, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

        I’m not debating the meaning of the flag or anthem. They are symbols of the nation. Anyone who disputes that is just not on the same planet.

        I’d buy the idea if he was protesting imperfections if he’d targeted his protest at the imperfection, but the object of his protest wasn’t the imperfection, but rather the whole.

      • Pyo September 27, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

        It’s just a flag (and a hymn, potentially). People really need to get over themselves.

        And again it’s not like he set it on fire. He’s kneeling! Where I’m from, that’s a pretty respectful gesture.

        People are just insulted because they want to be insulted over something. The protest doesn’t hurt you. It doesn’t take away anything from you. It’s just a symbolic act. Like a flag. Keep calm. 😉

        And he didn’t protest in another way a) because nobody would have cared and b) he didn’t think of something else.

      • Andrew Jones September 27, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

        We know it’s not “just a flag” because it was the target of protest. It was chosen as a way to raise the profile of an issue because it’s not a random banner. It disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

        To address the other points:
        A) To say that police violence is a low profile issue is, at best, silly. To say the political participation of professional athletes is low profile is silly. He could have called for the NFL to replace PD protection at games and gotten plenty of attention. It’s just not consistent with reality to argue that an NFL player needed to offer public disrespect to the symbols of the nation, because he had no other way to raise attention.

        B) If he simply had no other ideas, he could modify his protest, but he won’t. He claims to protest police violence, but his form of protest has distorted and conflated the issue to the point that I’ve heard a dozen reasons for the actions of NFL teams. If police violence was the focus, it would make sense to reframe things at this point. If his actual point is that The United States of America is unworthy of respect, for whatever reasons, his actions are consistent.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 1, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

        This is my two cents, what is protesting literally is the failed application of the Constitution to everyone . He is saying by kneeling that while other people are supported by the Constitution, others are ground down on their knees. That is a very powerful statement which is why so many people are upset and claiming it’s disrespectful. It’s not disrespectful in fact politicals is upholding the Constitution by protesting peacefully. He has the right to protest and the people who claim to support the Constitution have no business denying him that right. This is nothing short of liberty.

      • Andrew Jones October 5, 2017 at 5:53 am #

        I don’t see anyone trying to deny them that right, and to act as if it is the case is silly. To say that the protest is symbolic of being near the ground is equally silly, as many of those still protesting are just sitting on the bench. Mr. Kapernick has sat on the bench rather than kneel in the past, so even he doesn’t seem to be holding to that idea. I get that we might want to ascribe all sorts of deep symbolism, but it’s just not there.

        Some people don’t like the country. Maybe they don’t like it because they feel they some people are mistreated. Maybe they don’t like it because some people are poor and others rich. It might just be that they dislike certain political figures in office. They might even be seeking attention for reasons of ego. In America, you’re allowed to dislike America. We don’t have to do some sort of song and dance to dress it up. People can just say, “For reasons, I dislike America and refuse to participate in customary displays of respect for the nation,” and that’s legal. All it means is that they don’t like America, for whatever reasons. There doesn’t have to be a complex metaphor dreamed up after the fact because we’re a bit uncomfortable with the idea of defending people who don’t like America.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

        I don’t think you get it. He is protesting against police brutality. However, what is really doing is pointing out the failure to apply the Constitution while we sing liberty and justice for all. People don’t like their hypocrisy exposed. When and where he protests is not subject to your approval. This is his right.

  9. Andrew Jones September 27, 2017 at 6:13 am #

    I think there is something in it for them, appeasement.

    A few short years ago, the NFL was being defended by conservatives and generally excoriated by the left. Criminality, violence and concussions were common wedges, with Congressional hearings and talk of new laws, suits and regulations being common. Since then the NFL has become much more politically vocal on causes favoring the left.

    There’s no reason for the NFL to believe that it has anything at all to fear from the political right. Free marketeers and traditionalists are often NFL fans. Even if the NFL offends them, the worst that the NFL will get is one less fan. From the left, they have the fear legal actions and lawmaking that could existentially threaten the business of the NFL.

    One might expect the NFL to seek protection from the right side of the isle, but, quite reasonably, they probably don’t expect such protection to be effective. Rightly or wrongly, most businesses in the public eye do not expect effective defense from the GOP, perceiving them as generally ineffective.

    Essentially, one side has the threat of “We’ll regulate, sue and legislate you into the ground.” The other offers a defense of “We’ll do nothing and let the market decide.” Ratchet effects reliably predict the one that wins in the end.

    While “eat me last” isn’t a great plan, it’s probably good enough for the time horizons of most owners.

  10. PhilippeO September 27, 2017 at 6:46 am #

    > Do they get anything out of this beyond some bad publicity? Most importantly of all, are they actually doing anything constructive?

    The fact that you and millions of other people talk about it show that its actually effective and constructive.

    Protest works like advertising, it works by moving public opinion about good/bad-ness of things.

    Nike advert featuring sportsman > Nike associated with Sport > People who want to be seen as sportsman buy nike

    Kaepernick kneel to protest police brutality > Sportsman (public figure) associated that police brutality is bad > People who admire sportsman no longer condone police brutality.

  11. Billy September 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    All my life I have been for the Dallas Cowboys.

    The last time I watched them was when they won the Superbowl many years ago.
    (I have always wished I had a video of that – not any more)

    To see a photo of them all bending the knee to the flag and national anthem with the owner (Maybe the coach ? )

    That was awful.

    It was like the Dallas Cowboys team slapping me as a citizen of the United States in the face and crapping on our flag and national anthem.

    I can understand people taking whatever team football shirts / momentous out to a BBQ or metal can and burning them.

    Now when someone asks me about what team I like. I will no longer say the Cowboys.

    I will treat them with the same respect that they showed me.

    None.

    • Andrew Jones September 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      It appears that the Cowboys knelt before the anthem, but stood for it. Headlines and photographs have been misleading in this regard.

      While the Cowboys did support #takeaknee in general, they also separated themselves from directly disrespecting the symbols of the nation.

      There are a lot of ways to look at JJ’s decision (in which he participated), but it’s clear the Cowboys wanted to avoid appearing to disrespect the symbols of the nation.

  12. roxane September 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm #

    Thank you. The bigger issue is all of us getting out from behind our screens and actually doing something productive to make this world a better place. I hear you.

  13. Big Ben September 27, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

    Y’all are missing THE MOST CRITICAL ITEM in this typically idiotic Trumpian tempest in a teapot.
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
    Yes, the First Amendment specifically refers to the Congress, but I believe it’s pretty well understood that that means government in general, and Trump ostensibly leads the government as the American head of state.

    He has pretty explicitly called for the firing of these NFL players for exercising their constitutional rights. If that’s not unconstitutional government intimidation and a blatant attempt to abrogate a citizens inalienable rights, I don’t know what is.
    (Yes, yes, he may not have actually demanded that someone lose their livelihood, but I can’t help but hear the words, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”)
    He called Kapernick a son of a bitch on national television. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners … say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired.” This is our President’s typical level of discourse. Rocket Man!

    Then, to prove that government ignorance isn’t limited to Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin came out and said that players should, “do free speech on their own time.” Good grief.
    I kinda expect Trump or one of his lackeys will eventually come right out and say, “Shut the hell up, you sniveling fools. When I want your opinion, I’ll give it too you!”

    And in case you’ve forgotten, it wasn’t that long ago that Trump suggested jailing citizens or revoking their citizenship (WHAT?!?) if they burned an American flag, despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled long ago that this was protected under the First Amendment.

    Now this draft-dodger is trying to hijack Kapernick’s issue and make it all about patriotism, support of the troops and the flag, while he has repeatedly denigrated Gold Star Families and slammed Senator John McCain as, “The wrong type of war hero.” Where was your patriotism and support of the troops and veterans then, Donald?

    Someone get this fool a copy of the constitution. One that’s designed to teach first graders about our country with pretty colors and simple pictures.

    • Jack Hudler September 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

      Lest we forget, the President of the United States is a Citizen exercising his right to free speech. His calling for the firing of players not paying respect to our symbol of freedom and unity is not law, or even policy. It’s free speech.

      • Stuart the Viking September 27, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

        Exactly. IF Trump were to try to put the weight of LAW behind it and use government force to ensure that Kapernick is fired, THAT would be unconstitutional. Just saying “This guy’s an a-hole, someone should fire him” not so much.

      • Pyo September 27, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

        Lawful or not, it’s stupid.

        If you are against the protest, you want to avoid Streisand effects. Trump did the opposite. He couldn’t have helped the protesters more if he had tried to.

        That being said, free speech has limits. Incitement, fighting words, obscenity – those have all been judged by the Supreme Court to have cases where they weren’t allowed.
        I doubt Trump will get any legal trouble over this, but it’s worth a thought, maybe ^^

      • Jack Hudler September 27, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

        He broke no law. Anyone could say what President Trump said, anytime, anywhere, and there would be no legal consequences.

      • George Zolin September 27, 2017 at 9:48 pm #

        I’m not certain about that. I think it would depend on where and when the specific comments took place. It would (should) have to be clean that the president is speaking just for himself and not speaking in his capacity as president. The president has the obligation however to defend the constitution. Using the presidential twitter account (or a speech the president calling for others to take actions against individuals (fire the players for example)exercising their freedom of speech would seem to be run counter to that.

        Personally, think there are too many people on both sides of this issue taking it WAY to seriously.

      • Jack Hudler September 27, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

        The time and place of the SOB comment doesn’t matter. He could say this during the State of the Union address. He could even call for a law against it. It’s still his 1st amendment right to say it. A request for a law would never pass the constitutional test anyway.

      • Andrew Jones September 27, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

        I would prefer the POTUS restrict themselves from commenting on story of the week social issues. I really don’t want to hear from the POTUS every day.

        However, for President Trump, it’s just gold. He’s able to place himself in the “people who don’t respect the flag are SOB’s” camp. It allows him to cast himself as the protector of that idea. His opponents consistently come out against that camp. Just look around this board, nearly everyone who endorses the protest also opposes the current POTUS.

        It’s pretty good for the other side’s core too. Just as Trump conflates patriotism with support for him, the left can conflate protesting police violence with opposition to Trump and disrespect for traditional institutions and values.

        Still, on the margins, Trump comes out ahead for this one. More people are offended by disrespect to the symbols of the country than support it.

      • Jack Hudler September 27, 2017 at 11:48 pm #

        You would prefer that we hear from the President through the MSM? You only have to look at the past decades to see where that’s gotten us. MSM filters, acts as gatekeepers, and lies by omission on a daily basis. And it’s only getting worse. This is why President Trump uses tweets. It got him elected didn’t it?

      • Andrew Jones September 28, 2017 at 1:03 am #

        No argument that it’s effective for his ends, or that it is useful for him to bypass traditional media outlets. I’d just rather not hear about the POTUS from anyone on a daily basis.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 1, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

        Let us not forget he is using his position as the President to decry free speech. He was not speaking as a private citizen . He is the president he acts on behalf of of the country . If he says and uses his bully pulpit to claim that people who protest should be fired is unconstitutional . Stop splitting hairs .

      • Jack Hudler October 2, 2017 at 12:21 am #

        Hmmm…. I don’t see anywhere in the Constitution that the holder of the Office of President of the United States of America, must renounce his right to speak as a free citizen thereof. Still looking…

      • Conrad C Bassett, Jr. October 8, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

        Unfortunately, I suggest you go back and re-read the Constitution because the President of the United States is not a private citizen until he leave office. There was a debate as to whether or not he held the status as a public official when he was the President Elect. Until Trump took office he was considered a private citizen and therefore, he the same rights as any citizen. However, once he became the President he is no longer a private citizen but the head of the Executive Branch of the Government and while people that work for the government as long as they are not speaking in their official role are entitled to speak their mind. He under 18 U.S. Code § 227 – Wrongfully influencing a private entity’s employment decisions by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch

        (a)Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity—
        (1)takes or withholds, or offers or threatens to take or withhold, an official act, or
        (2)influences, or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another,
        shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.
        (b)In this section, the term “covered government person” means—
        (1)a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress;
        (2)an employee of either House of Congress; or
        (3)the President, Vice President, an employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, or any other executive branch employee (as such term is defined under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code).

        Any questions?

      • Jack Hudler October 8, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

        Quite familiar with 18 USC 227. The Keyword you’re overlooking is ‘threatened’. The President didn’t threaten anyone, he mad a comment or suggestion to the owners of the NFL. As is his right under the 1st amendment.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 8, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

        I would hardly call what he said a suggestion. However let’s say you’re right and it was a suggestion he still doesn’t get that suggest in violation of someone’s constitutional rights. You can call it what you want but if you’re is familiar with the law as you claim to be, they you would know that you can’t hide behind a suggestion as you phrased it. He does not have the right to a private citizen until he leaves office.

      • Jack Hudler October 8, 2017 at 7:17 pm #

        If it had been spoken as a threat, the MSM would be all over this and we’d never hear of the Russian’s again. The Congress would have articles of impeachment prepared before he left the podium.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 8, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

        I think you’re being a little disingenuous. He’s made multiple statements calling for the termination of the players that protest and take the knee. Making myopic arguments is not going to carry this into the realm of just a suggestion. Also show me in the statute and the regulations where it says it has to be a threat. For someone who claims to know how the statute is applied you seem to be failing to glean the basic concept.

      • Jack Hudler October 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm #

        Then you should read 18 USC 227.a.1 and a.2. The word threaten is in both paragraphs.

    • JJ Reuter October 2, 2017 at 11:42 am #

      He spoke from his heart. That is refreshing even though not politically correct. Unlike leftist regimes who would have carted them off the field to a gulag, the opinions flying around caused a lot of triggering and hurt feelings. True oppression is not having your feelings hurt but fearing torture or worse because of an opinion. The leftists are all about the “outdated” Constitution when it serves their purposes. The American people also have the right to be heard, and are beginning to make that impact felt. Words and actions matter and have consequences. Opinions are based on the information available and the unrelenting hatred for Trump automatically puts half the population on the defense and the best defense is offense. Leftists are getting just what they want. Division and chaos from whence they expect a bright and shiny new world to emerge from the ashes. History shows that is never the case and totalitarianism is the result as safety is the primary call when becoming a dictator.

      • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 8, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

        Last time I checked President of the United States does not have an off switch . Like it or not he represents the government . Therefore he cannot either word nor indeed abridge the Constitution . This is hard for him because he consistently abridges the Constitution. He call for the firing of an employee for practicing his constitutional rights . I suggest that you get a copy of the Constitution read read the case law surrounding about what a POTUS canning cannot do and then I think you realize that when you are in public office you have to be careful about what you say and you can never tell someone they don’t have a constitutional right when they do .

      • Jack Hudler October 8, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

        ” I suggest that you get a copy of the Constitution read read the case law…”
        What case law are you referring to? I cannot find any law that govern the Free Speech with respect to the President of the United States. You can’t have such laws, because the President is a Citizen and you cannot abridge his rights.
        It is fully in the rights of the 1st amendment for anyone to call for the firing of anyone. It’s not slander or defamation.

      • JJ Reuter November 22, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

        I think you had best read the Constitution yourself. The president has the best constitutional lawyers and does not speak in a vacuum. Howling about things that are not rights looks good to leftists but in the end, Trump is usually proved to be correct. He also picks his battles.

  14. George Zolin September 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

    ok… somehow a cut and past of that didn’t work well…

    I’m not certain about that. I think it would depend on where and when the specific comments took place. It would (should) have to be clean that the president is speaking just for himself and not speaking in his capacity as president. The president has the obligation (among others) to defend the constitution. Using the presidential twitter account (or some other presidential vehicle) calling for others to take actions against individuals (fire the players for example) for exercising their freedom of speech would seem to be run counter to that. If the president had just limited himself to stating that the players were being disrespectful to the flag that actually might be accurate; but then the level to which American society at large disrespects the flag on a regular basis is generally appalling.

    (https://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf)

    Personally, think there are too many people on both sides of this issue are blowing it up to ridiculous proportions.

  15. Veraenderer September 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    Sry I don’t understand how knelling before a flag is disrespectful.

    • Andrew Jones September 28, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

      I’ll assume you’re not familiar with US custom, as the other option is you’re trolling.

      The custom is to stand, placing your right hand over your heart. People in uniform will salute. This is considered proper form. Non Americans will typically stand, but offer no salute (as is appropriate). The protest is seen as an intentional departure from the forms of respect.

      One would no more kneel in this situation than one would call one’s mother by her first name. You could do it, but it’s weird and often seen as disrespectful.

    • Conrad Bassett Jr. October 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

      Contrary to Andrew’s belief kneeling is not disrespectful . The custom is you stand place your hand of your heart and then sing or be in silent observance. They have always been people who sat during the national anthem because of infirmities or whatever . There’s always been people who have not believed in standing for the national anthem and it’s never been a big deal . The problem here is unfortunately black people have never had full rights in the United States so when there’s a protest no matter how peaceful the folks to call themselves the right are always up in arms about it . Their issue is they literally do not believe in a right that is guaranteed for everyone. They will make excuses and they will claim anything other than what it actually is . They will drag the troops into it although most of the people that are doing it have never served anything other than themselves but it what it boils down to is a lack of fundamental respect for their fellow human beings.

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