On Wednesday, Roger Goodell and the NFL announced new “rules” to deal with NFL player protests of the National Anthem. Colin Kaepernick got the ball rolling a few years ago, when he was with the 49ers, and he decided to sit for the National Anthem as a way to protest police violence and the police committing extrajudicial killings of people of color across the country. That’s what the “anthem protests” were always about: police violence, the protest of white supremacy and the agency of individuals to use their first amendment rights. But to Donald Trump and many white people, the anthem protests were “un-American” and “an insult to the troops” by “ungrateful” black people. So what are the new NFL rules?
NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer, it was announced Wednesday.
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Those teams also will have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction.
The NFLPA (the players’ union) shaded the f–k out of the NFL’s new rules and the union says they weren’t consulted. The new rules are being seen – correctly – as Goodell’s capitulation to Trump and the Deplorables, and the rules are being seen as un-American, because that’s what they are. So I’m so glad that Donald Trump appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to suggest that Americans should be thrown out of the country if they refuse to stand for the National Anthem. Jesus Christ. Trump literally says: “You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe they shouldn’t be in the country…the NFL owners did the right thing.”
"You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. You shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. Maybe they shouldn't be in the country…the NFL owners did the right thing" -President @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/bt36t4EX5u
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) May 24, 2018
Keep in mind that Trump referred to Kaepernick as a “son of a bitch” for peacefully protesting, and yet the white supremacists who murdered a young woman in Charlottesville were “very fine people.” Keep in mind that Trump was a draft-dodger who is now lecturing people on how peaceful protests insult the American military. Keep in mind that Colin Kaepernick still doesn’t have a job, and that ESPN did Jemele Hill dirty because she mildly criticized Trump and the NFL a few times. This is all such a deplorable, fascistic mess.
Also, this is a really good video about Kaepernick’s evolution on anthem-protesting:
— 🇪🇨 J.A.M.🇪🇨 (@MrAcosta89) May 23, 2018
Cover courtesy of Time, additional photos courtesy of Backgrid.