A few NFL team owners, and the league commissioner, suggested President Trump's call for firing players who refuse to salute the American flag was "divisive".
What is 'divisive' is when one person hijacks the National Anthem to grab the spotlight for their own selfish reasons, no matter what those reasons might be. The issue is not why, but how.
Americans unanimously agree we all have the right to be heard. But grabbing the microphone at a wedding ceremony, or a prayer service or a funeral, just so you can have a captive audience is outrageously rude. Interfering with a salute to our national unity is just as inappropriate, and it disrespects our veterans.
What President Trump was pointing out is painfully obvious to veterans and patriots all across our homeland: There is a place and a time for dissent and political statements. When people gather to attend large entertainment events, it is highly presumptuous to hijack the audience to make your own beliefs the center of attention. And it is particularly galling when your protest paints American veterans as fools of injustice.
That is truly divisive.
Protesting players are saying, "I won't stand for our flag!" Their action is intended to attract and unite others who hold similar resentments, not to bring us all together. Holding up a clenched fist, kneeling or doing stretching exercises during the flag ceremony implies that those who disagree are ignorant and hateful. How does that help bring us all together?
Media opportunities for anyone to speak out about their concerns are endless, so the claim that hijacking NFL pre-game ceremonies is the 'only' way for voices of descent to be heard is patently absurd.
Plummeting TV ratings for NFL games, Hollywood award shows, for slanted and slanderous fake news programs hosted by angry and misguided talking heads and vanishing ticket sales for snarky and sermonizing leftist movie themes, are sending a strong signal that should be easy to understand. Trump was simply reiterating the anger many of us feel about the constant drumbeat of disrespect for our uniquely American traditions.
For decades, Americans have used major sporting events as an opportunity for all citizens to celebrate love for our country, and gratitude for our freedoms. Throwing shade on our collective celebration is an egregious act of narcissism.
Too many younger Americans have forgotten the reality of the fleeting nature of freedom and what it took to get it, and what it takes to keep it. They have become insensitive to how much sacrifice some have had to endure to give them the opportunity to be so self centered.
My first football coach used to complain when the opposition busted a big run against our defense: "That was a hole big enough to run a truck through! What were you (linebackers) thinking?"
Those who support the game day protests say the young men are just trying to point out legitimate problems with racist attitudes and social injustices. I would suggest that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell look both ways before crossing that street. If he wants to turn the NFL into an advertising medium for anti-American politics and anger, fine. But be prepared to take a hit, because the idea that hijacking the National Anthem is an ordinary vehicle for dissent has a hole in it, big enough to drive a Hearse through.