The recent controversy over football game protests has crowded out more significant news from the front page. North Korea, healthcare, and tax cuts are relegated to the background. The heads of the major media have determined that this is the story of major importance. Intense pressure has been applied by both sides of the conflict on individuals to support their cause. What was originally a protest against police brutality has morphed into a protest about the President.
The left has made a major miscalculation in its program to attack Trump. What have they gained and what have they lost with these protests. The players and even the owners do not seem to be aware that there will be a heavy price to pay for alienating a large number of their customers. On their plus side they have brought attention to a problem. However, this problem was exaggerated and distorted by the media. Football is a favorite spectator sport for many working class men. “Pajama boys” and Antifa are probably not the greatest fans of football. They have alienated a large portion of their base in support of Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter protesters are not really interested in Black lives. They are interested in displaying their ability to manipulate people. If they were interested in Black lives they would be supporting the President. Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute commented, “Trump’s concern about rising crime is not a concern about white victims and the loss of white life. Rather, it is a concern about black lives.” She suggests that protests against the police have actually increased the Black homicide rate. Strong law enforcement politicians follow policies that lower the homicide rate. During the mayoralty of Rudy Giuliani the homicide rate for Blacks plummeted in New York City. More Blacks die violently every years than died in a century of lynchings. This is especially tragic when it is in the case of children like the nine-year-old girl fatally shot while doing homework on her mother’s bed in Ferguson in 2015.
The protesters argue that it is President Trump who is being divisive and disrespectable. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell claimed, "The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture." It can only be concluded from this statement that Roger Goodell is delusional. Goodell continued, "Divisive comments . . . demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.” The claims of innocence are not very convincing. Colin Kaepernick the initiator of these protests sports Black Panther and Fidel Castro embossed clothing.
The one mistake the President made was to inadvertently involve the mother of the protesters in the conflict. An organization of NFL players’ mothers sent a letter to the President defending their sons and requesting that he “put a stop to the divisive language.” They continued, “It saddens the organization to know that President Donald Trump would make our sons — as well as their mothers — the target of inflammatory, offensive comments that are intended to promote anger and hatred, depleting them of their heritage and self-identity.”
President Trump is undoubtedly a football fan. He claims to know many of the team owners. It is unlikely that he would have anything negative to say about the players if they had not inserted themselves into this conflict.
Once the price for these protests is revealed, the owners and players will reconsider. Their first tactic will be to claim that they were not protesting the flag or anthem. They will portray themselves as super patriots. However, many of those fans who have left will not be returning. The intolerance for players like Tim Tebow and the decals that were designed to honor the five Dallas police officers murdered in July 2016 will have to be reconsidered.