San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:
This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that
he can only become large by belittling others. This has of course
been a common practice of his, but to do it in this manner — and
to lie about how previous presidents responded to the deaths of
soldiers — is as low as it gets. We have a pathological liar in
the White House, unfit intellectually, emotionally, and
psychologically to hold this office, and the whole world knows it,
especially those around him every day.
The NFL is a decidedly conservative sports league — certainly in the lowercase-c literal sense of the word, and I would argue in the political sense of the word too. The NBA, not so much. NBA players could take this kneeling-during-the-anthem issue with Trump to the next level.
(My two cents on the kneeling issue: Kneeling is not disrespectful. In fact, kneeling is universally seen as a deep sign of respect, everywhere from church services to Game of Thrones. When Colin Kaepernick began his silent protests during the national anthem, he did so by remaining seated on the bench. I can see the argument that sitting is disrespectful. I’m not saying Kaepernick should have been punished or vilified for sitting. I’m just saying that if you want to base your argument on “respect” for the flag and national anthem, if players are sitting on the bench, you have a case. But not kneeling. Kneeling is respectful — that’s why Kaepernick and his 49er teammates switched to it. Anyone objecting to players kneeling during the anthem is, no matter what they say, arguing about something other than “respect” for the flag and anthem. My take is that they’re objecting to a lack of compliance and obedience, a refusal to just let the matter fade away.)
★ Tuesday, 17 October 2017