Making Sense by Michael Reagan
Please, Mr. Trump, I'm on bended knee.
Please, Mr. Trump, quit acting like a talk-show host and start acting like the president of the United States.
When it comes to NFL players and NFL teams taking a knee in protest before their football games,I'm pretty much like most Americas.
I was appalled at what quarterback Colin Kaepernick did last year when he decided to remain seated during the national anthem.
In his head, Kaepernick was protesting what he claims is the ongoing oppression of people of color in America by police.Fine.
But most of the country interpreted it differently.
They saw a privileged, highly paid pro athlete disrespecting the American flag and those who served under it in battle.
Kaepernick has paid a high personal price for his principles. He's now unemployed -- and apparently unemployable.
Though not a superstar, he's probably better than half a dozen no-name backup quarterbacks in the NFL.
Yet his pre-game troublemaking and the bad publicity he's created for himself and the league has clearly kept him from being picked up by a team that could use him.
No owner wants to have to deal with him or the negative attention that comes with him.
His best hope might be getting a CFL team to sign him if he promises to behave during "O Canada."
Four weeks ago the whole Kaepernick protest thing was beginning to fade away on its own. Only about four NFL players were still taking the knee during the "The Star-Spangled Banner."
With its TV ratings falling and attendance in decline for other reasons, the league office was thrilled to see the NFL protest movement losing steam. So was the rest of a politically weary America.
But then, late in the fourth quarter, President Trump streaked onto the field.
At a rally for the Senate primary in Alabama last Friday, he told a crowd, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say 'get that son of a b ---- off the field right now? Out! He's fired! He's fired!'"
Thanks to the meddler in chief, one in eight players took a knee during the national anthem during the games last weekend and Monday.
They didn't take a knee to support Kaepernick or to disrespect the flag. They did it to protest Trump and his attack on NFL players.
Yes, President Trump said what so many of us are feeling. But he had no reason to get in the middle of stuff he doesn't need to be in - and shouldn't be in.
Trump unconditional supporters are praising him for taking a stand, but he wasn't leading the way.
The ones who should take credit for taking a stand against the NFL "Kneelers" are the people of the United States.
We're the ones who've stopped watching or going to the games because of the players' politics. We deserve the credit.
The president is following the people's lead.He joined the winning team after the game was over.
I know we can chalk up the president's meddling to the all-purpose excuse - "It's Trump being Trump."
But the president should never call anyone a "S.O.B." in public.
Not even if he really feels that way. Not even though we may agree with him.
There simply are things a president should not do or say - let's call it "Presidential Behavior 101."
I know President Trump was playing to his base again. I know they cheered his comments and fell in love with him even more.
But I'm tired of hearing him sound more like Jimmy Kimmel than the president.
Copyright© 2017 Michael Reagan. Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to [email protected] Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.
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