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Trump’s Super Bowl Message

February 9, 2018

Photo Courtesy of Yahoo News

Before Sunday’s big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, President Trump used the event to publicize some of his thoughts on the upcoming game. The president opted not to give an interview to NBC, the channel that broadcast the Super Bowl this year, which is the first time that a president has not done this in over a decade. Despite this, he did, in a White House statement, again express his opinions on the topic of kneeling for the National Anthem.

This has been an issue for the NFL in recent years, and one that Trump has not taken lightly to or ignored. In his statement, he explained, “We owe these heroes the greatest respect for defending our liberty and our American way of life…We hold them in our hearts and thank them for our freedom as we proudly stand for the National Anthem.” During Sunday’s game, all players stood for the Anthem.

Throughout the past year, President Trump had paid close attention to players who chose to kneel during the National Anthem, such as Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback. Several times throughout the season, the president wrote tweets and made statements regarding the controversy that surrounded players who kneeled. Those who chose to kneel for the National Anthem did so to protest racism and police brutality against people of color. In September 2017, he tweeted “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”

Trump also suggested on several occasions that NFL players who refuse to stand for the Anthem should be fired. In November 2017, he made similar comments, saying, “The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!” The president saw this act as dishonorable to those who served in the military, and he made sure that people did not forget his position on this before Super Bowl LII.

After their Super Bowl win, several members of the Philadelphia Eagles were reported saying that they would not visit the White House, a tradition of winning Super Bowl teams, if the invitation was extended to the team. President Trump made an example of the Golden State Warriors last year, taking back his invitation to the champion team after he caught wind that many players would have declined the invite anyway.

So far from the Eagles, safety Malcolm Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long, and wide receiver Torrey Smith have all expressed that they will not visit the White House if given the opportunity. Smith told ESPN, “Going to the White House should be seen as an honor, and I believe it is an honor, but to me it has to be an honor with the right type of respect in office. I just don’t see it.”

Kaelin Sommer
News Editor

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