The NFL has a problem with social issues and race and inequality and all that. When it comes to these issues, though, it doesn’t need a guy like President Trump to come in and completely berate them for something that only he believes in and believes others should follow suit. His free speech is not equal to their free speech.
Coming out of the NFL owners meeting, Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement, saying that the NFL will not punish players who take a knee during the anthem, but suggested that they should stand and that the NFL will work with players and owners to find a way to help players with these social issues and help make the world a more equal place.
For many, the meeting was just a first step in the NFL and the NFLPA trying to get on equal ground, something that’s definitely been shaky for years because many players feel that they are being punished too severely by the league for offenses they don’t think are that severe for punishment.
Trump And Goodell Both Respond
This first meeting definitely got the ire of President Trump, who went on Twitter yet again to voice his displeasure that the NFL is not forcing its players to stand, saying, “The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!”
Trump’s Twitter attacks towards the NFL are not new, criticizing not just the NFL but Colin Kaepernick in particular because he was the guy who started the movement and who was the first player to take a knee.
Roger Goodell, however, emphasized that “we respect our country, we respect our flag and we respect our national anthem. I think if you look at our clubs and what they do on a daily basis, I think if you look at our players and what they did and how they participate in that. We all feel very strongly about our country, have pride and we will continue to do that.”
Roger Goodell also said there will be tough conversations ahead with the players and they will hope to address the underlying issues, which I felt should’ve been addressed a long time ago, maybe even when the movement started with Kaepernick. But now that President Trump is tweeting about the NFL and calling them disrespectful and all that, the NFL is trying to get on top of this before it completely gets out of hand, where it seems it may be headed.
Trump’s Views Don’t Solve Anything
But here’s the thing about Trump: He has that totalitarian view towards protests and free speech. A good chunk of the time, he condemns it, particularly when he calls the media “fake news” and towards those who use their free speech, even if it goes against the grain of what we grew up with and believe in. Trump believes everyone should follow his view and his way of getting things done. That’s never the case in this country and Trump will not help the NFL solve its issues. Only the NFL and their players can do that.
Understandably, the NFL doesn’t do well when it comes to PR because, in recent memory, the NFL has shown they have taken its own harsh actions towards its players and its partners, either punishing the players severely or taking away any form of fun they have like touchdown celebrations and all that.
That’s normal for the NFL and for a lot of big businesses. For the NFL, though, this may be a growing step towards both sides understanding the issues at large. I understand it’s only a beginning meeting and there are more talks set up but getting both players and owners in the room is a good first step towards trying to understand how best to get over this issue and help players with the injustices facing our country.
Trump’s tweets do not solve anything. They only make things worse and more divided. So hopefully this is the first step for the NFL to solving the issues themselves because politics and sports are not mixing well together in this and they’re going to have to solve this before it completely spirals out of control and we know Trump likes it when he creates chaos.