Maybe? Of course they shouldn’t be in the country!
Trump was asked by Fox News – during an interview conducted Wednesday but broadcast Thursday morning – about the NFL’s decision to fine teams whose players refuse to stand for the National Anthem. The players are allowed to remain in the locker rooms instead.
“I don’t think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still, I think it’s good. 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,” Trump said.
The National Anthem represents the nation. Every American, regardless of political beliefs, should respect it. That’s exactly why players kneel during its playing. Because they don’t respect the country. So they should leave.
The National Anthem is sung facing the flag. The pledge of allegiance – to the flag – is recited during naturalization ceremonies when people become citizens. Respecting the flag is an intrinsic part of being a citizen in this country. Many other countries don’t place such symbolic importance in the flag. We do.
Now, this is very different than saying people who won’t stand before the flag should be forced to leave. In this country, you have a right even not to respect this country. It’s just my opinion that if you don’t like America, you should try another place.
The NFL is changing its policies not out of patriotism – or at the very least, not exclusively out of patriotism – but out of concern for ratings, which declined last year.
There likely will be players who continue to kneel during the Anthem this fall. America will be watching. Or, hopefully, not watching.