As I posted right before Donald Trump took office as the U.S. president, the man does not seem to believe in our democratic form of government. He seemed to have proved it again today. He spoke to The Daily Caller about Nike’s recent decision to make former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick the poster guy of their 30th celebration of their ad campaign, “Just Do It.”
As most Americans know by now, in 2016 Colin Kaepernick had bent down to his knee during the playing of the national anthem at an 49ers NFL game, rather than continue the traditional standing, as a symbol of protest to unfair treatment of blacks, especially by some law enforcement officials in the country. Afterwards, Trump railed against Kaepernick’s demonstration by shouting, “Get the son of a bitch off the field.” Trump amped up a national controversy, saying not only that such players should be banned from the NFL but that they “shouldn’t be in the country.” Trump is dictatorial and therefore dangerous.
It caused turmoil among NFL owners–most of whom are old white guys. The NFL now allows owners to fine players if they kneel; but the NFL has not made a final decision.
Kaepernick became a free agent; the 49ers never re-signed him; and no other team signed him. Kaepernick now has a lawsuit against the NFL, alleging collusion by team owners to prevent him from playing in the NFL. Kaepernick is no slouch as a quarterback–he led the 49ers to the 2012 Super Bowl.
This year, Kaepernick has been given various humanitarian awards for the cultural and political storm he has started. For example, Amnesty International awarded him with their Ambassador of Conscience award.
Colin Kaepernick is a professing Christian who is public about his faith and about promoting what he believes is good social change, starting with his own charity foundation. He has a lot of support for this from other professional athletes, especially blacks as might be supposed. I expressed my support of Kaepernick in a post right after the knee incident occurred.
So, it is being reported that President Trump told The Daily Caller today that Nike had a right to make that decision about Kaepernick. Duh! Then he added, “I think it’s a terrible message … As much as I disagree with the Colin Kaepernick endorsement, in another way–I mean, I wouldn’t have done it. In another way, it is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.” Allowing people “certain freedoms” that other people don’t agree with? That’s why we have laws and that are made by voters’ elected representatives. I think what President Trump says here is a nonsensical statement that seems to indicate he doesn’t believe in our democratic way of life.