Opinion: Stop emboldening a bad president’s ego

Maddie Newingham

Madison Newingham

Regarding President Donald Trump’s talk on the NFL, he’s fabricated this problem for himself.

Trump wants the easiest avenue to be the center of attention that requires no briefing, through which he could not comprehend anyway. I have no pity for a president with a terrible work ethic and misguided values shaped by the last person to whisper in his ear.

To quickly address the taking of a knee, I will get straight to the point.

You, as private citizens, may feel however you want about the act of players taking a knee. That is your right.

Yet, taking a knee is so much more than the issue of free speech; it is about the disproportionate number of black people being shot at the hands of those who had taken an oath to protect them.

Colin Kaepernick did not take a knee to disrespect the flag, nor did he take a knee to disrespect the veterans who fought for his right to stand or kneel.

He did, however, kneel to bring attention to institutional racism. He has a platform, and as a private citizen, he has chosen to use that platform.

I want to address how problematic it is for a president to comment on the free speech of private citizens. It is absolutely not OK for a president to call those with whom he disagrees sons of the (word I cannot publish in this article), and he cannot use his influence to suggest these private citizens be fired from their careers. That is an abuse of his power and his office.

Trump gets mad when football players call out visible racism, but not when Nazis march in our streets with torches screaming, “Jews will not replace us!” and “White lives matter!”

Are you kidding me?

Though he stands by the flag and our veterans, don’t be fooled: The president has disrespected all prisoners of war, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, by literally saying that he only likes troops who win.

Second, Trump is behaving as though he has served. I would like to remind you he was deferred from Vietnam four times, and one of the reasons cited was bone spurs.

So, for the sake of the country, let’s look past the president’s distractions and focus our attention on humanitarian crises he has failed to promptly or adequately address.

If we allow ourselves to forget about Puerto Rico or the ongoing recovery efforts of Houston and Florida, amid a flurry of NFL-related nonsense from the current president, shame on us.

In a time when we desperately need to come together as a community, it’ll be our responsibility to put in that legwork while our president tweets and rants away.

Madison Newingham is a columnist. Contact her at [email protected].