Protest, but accept the consequences
Let us put the NFL protest issue into perspective. As American citizens, we have the freedom of speech, the right to assemble, and the right to peacefully protest. I applaud the NFL players and anyone else for denouncing racism and inequality. They chose a convenient and highly visible (and obviously effective) venue — that of a professional football game. However, of all opportunities afforded by several hours of time, they chose to demonstrate during the national anthem.
The national anthem represents our allegiance and dedication to our country. It represents military personnel who fought and died to preserve the very freedom that we (and they) continue to enjoy. It is all about what our great country stands for. It stands for pride. It stands for honor, courage and commitment. The perception is that the protesting players stand against our country, disrespect our flag and all of our American patriots, whose love for our country runs deeper than many will ever know. This strikes a serious nerve in the hearts and souls of many Americans.
So yes, they can protest, but they should be prepared to face the fallout of their poor judgment and indiscretion regarding the exact time to attempt to make their point. Like it or not, President Donald Trump represents our country. And while many may feel that he lacks the diplomacy of presidents who have gone before him, his job is still to support, defend and protect it, just as the players, coaches and owners defend, support and protect their team franchises.
President Trump’s direct and aggressive comments, and the subsequent “knee-jerk” reaction of increased participation by other NFL members, suggest that they were reduced to the level of child’s play — like two children fighting over one lollipop. The bottom line: It was a good idea, but a very poor execution. The right place perhaps, but clearly the wrong time.