Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

David French, National Review: President Trump's call for NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem to be fired was a troubling assault on free speech -- and it put the league in an impossible position. Americans do not and should not worship idols. We do not and should not worship the flag. As a nation we stand in respect for the national anthem and stand in respect for the flag not simply because we were born here or because it's our flag. We stand in respect because the flag represents a specific set of values and principles: that all men are created equal and that we are endowed with our Creator with certain unalienable rights.

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[W]hich is the greater danger to the ideals embodied by the American flag, a few football players' taking a knee at the national anthem or the most powerful man in the world's demanding that they be fired and their livelihoods destroyed for engaging in speech he doesn't like?

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This is what jumped out at me (regarding this weekend's knee-taking), and it's an argument that I hadn't yet considered:

In the space of less than 24 hours this weekend, the president of the United States did more to politicize sports than ESPN has done in a decade of biased, progressive programming. He singled out free speech he didn't like, demanded that dissenters be fired, and then -- when it became clear that private American citizens weren't going to do what he demanded -- he urged the economic boycott of their entire industry.

He told his political opponents on the football field -- men who have defined their lives and careers by their mental and physical toughness -- to essentially, "Do what I say or lose your job." In so doing, he put them in straits far more difficult to navigate than anything Colin Kaepernick has wrought: Stand and they are seen to obey a man who just abused his office, and millions of Americans will view them as a sellout not just to the political cause they love but also to the Constitution itself; kneel and they defy a rogue president, but millions of Americans will view them as disrespecting the nation itself to score political points against a president those Americans happen to like.

At one stroke, thanks to an attempted vulgar display of strength, Trump changed the playing of the anthem and the display of the flag from a moment where all but the most radical Americans could unite to one where millions of well-meaning Americans could and did legitimately believe that the decision to kneel represented a defense of the ideals of the flag, not defiance of the nation they love. If we no longer fight to secure the same rights for others that we demand for ourselves, we become more tribal, and America becomes less exceptional. So, yes, I understand why they knelt. I understand why men who would never otherwise bring politics onto the playing field -- and never had politicized sports before -- felt that they could not be seen to comply with a demagogue's demands. I understand why even owners who gave millions to Trump expressed solidarity with their players. I understand why even Trump supporters like Rex Ryan were appalled at the president's actions.


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#1 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-09-25 04:17 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3


... millions of well-meaning Americans could and did legitimately believe that the decision to kneel represented a defense of the ideals of the flag ...

Yup.

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-09-25 04:32 PM | Reply

Here's another take:

If you're an NFL fan, you can only be aghast at what Trump has done. His side -- our side, the side that said you shouldn't insult the flag because of the mistakes made by some police officers -- was winning. All Trump had to do to secure this small but important victory was keep his mouth shut. Kaepernick had suffered the twin humiliations of being forced to recant his position last spring by promising to end his pregame protests and being snubbed by every NFL team this summer, which left him free to spend the opening weeks of the season protesting injustice from his couch. Copycat demonstrations were dwindling out. Now, thanks to Trump, Sunday brought the spectacle of more dismaying national-anthem protests than ever before. Players were taking a knee from coast to coast. We were presented with the mind-boggling spectacle of Patriots players being booed by Patriots fans for being unpatriotic. Or maybe they were just backing the First Amendment. Or expressing solidarity with fellow athletes such as NBA superstar Stephen Curry, whom Trump blasted in a tweet. Or simply expressing the sentiment that the president of the United States should stay out of their business. Trump gave them a pile of reasons to politicize the presentation of the flag.

#3 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-09-25 04:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Oops.

Here is the link for #3:

www.nationalreview.com

#4 | Posted by JeffJ at 2017-09-25 04:39 PM | Reply


Your posts show two levels of a many-leveled discussion. The two articles don't contradict or disagree with each other, they, as you say, represent different "takes" (or what I would call "levels."

I see the levels along the lines of:

1 - ideals of the Flag, including free speech
2 - respect (or lack of) for the Flag
3 - politics has no place in sports

Sec Mnuchin argued at the third level yesterday with his "on their own time" comments.

I tend towards the first level.

#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-09-25 05:00 PM | Reply

I hope all those critics against kneeling athletes sent Trump tweets expressing their disapproval of Trump increasing the politicization of their precious sporting events.

#6 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-09-25 05:15 PM | Reply

If you feel that someone silently kneeling during the playing of a song is disrespectful, I'm guessing that having somebody grab you (or your wife or daughter) by the ----- must strike you as really disrespectful, eh?

#7 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2017-09-25 05:31 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If these were mostly white Americans kneeling during the anthem in support of a particular war, the same people who oppose kneeling would support kneeling.

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2017-09-25 05:35 PM | Reply

7

I think it's possible to think both acts are disrespectful.

#9 | Posted by eberly at 2017-09-25 05:43 PM | Reply

#9
I think you are half right.

If you think they are equally despicable, I withdraw my statement.

#10 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2017-09-25 05:58 PM | Reply

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I think it's possible to think both acts are disrespectful.

#9 | POSTED BY EBERLY AT 2017-09-25 05:43 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

There will always be idiots, so you're right.

#11 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-25 07:32 PM | Reply

"If you think they are equally despicable, I withdraw my statement."

To be clear, which one is more despicable, to you?

#12 | Posted by eberly at 2017-09-25 07:35 PM | Reply

Or are they equal? I'm not sure from your comment.

#13 | Posted by eberly at 2017-09-25 07:37 PM | Reply

11

What do you mean? If someone finds kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful as well as grabbing -----, that person is an idiot?

#14 | Posted by eberly at 2017-09-25 07:47 PM | Reply

"it's an argument that I hadn't yet considered"

It's the same argument Bush made after 9/11; that you're either with us or you're with the terrorists.

Strange that you don't see it as the same argument though.

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-25 07:51 PM | Reply

If someone finds kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful, that person is an idiot.

That's what I meant. They simply don't want to understand. It's such a simple gesture.

#16 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-25 07:57 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Also, the equivocation of standing up for equality to rape.

Wtf is wrong with this country?

#17 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-25 07:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Kneeling disrespectfully" is now a thing that can be done, kinda like "driving while black."

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-25 08:11 PM | Reply

The Anthem is not America.

The Flag is not America.

The Golden Arches are not Hamburgers.

You are being played.

#19 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2017-09-25 11:31 PM | Reply

The Anthem is not America.

The Flag is not America.

Donald Trump is not America.

The Golden Arches are not Hamburgers.

You are being played.

FTFY

#20 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-09-25 11:38 PM | Reply

The protest was to draw attention to inequality. People will talk about anything except that.

#21 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-26 10:12 AM | Reply

Everybody is missing the silver lining. This is how we get public money out of the NFL. Never waste a crisis.

#22 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-09-26 10:21 AM | Reply

If someone finds kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful, that person is an idiot. - #16 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-25 07:57 PM

You need to broadcast that both LOUDLY and CLEARLY during the run-ups to all future elections. Including your choice for candidate would be helpful as well.

#23 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-26 10:31 AM | Reply

"You need to broadcast that both LOUDLY and CLEARLY during the run-ups to all future elections. Including your choice for candidate would be helpful as well."

AVIGDORE celebrates the ignorance of Americans, to the point that supporting the exercise of First Amendment rights could be considered a negative among average voters. Ignorance among voters is considered an advantage in elections by the right, the more ignorant the better.

#24 | Posted by danni at 2017-09-26 10:46 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

You need to broadcast that both LOUDLY and CLEARLY during the run-ups to all future elections. Including your choice for candidate would be helpful as well.

#23 | POSTED BY AVIGDORE

The Founding Fathers would likely kick your teeth in for demanding people worship the Flag and National Anthem.

#25 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-09-26 11:16 AM | Reply

The Founding Fathers passed the Alien and Sedition Acts.

If they saw this site, whomever was in power would jail most of the posters here.

Alien and Sedition Acts

#26 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-09-26 11:23 AM | Reply

The Founding Fathers passed the Alien and Sedition Acts.
If they saw this site, whomever was in power would jail most of the posters here.
Alien and Sedition Acts

#26 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

Which is why it lasted two years and the Federalists who passed it were booted from office.

#27 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-09-26 11:25 AM | Reply

This is what is happening and why so many people can't get behind it.

1. I'm kneeling in protest because I have the right to do so.
2. I'm going to let you know I don't agree with you because I have the right do so.
Both sides. OMFG!!! HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE!!!! YOU ARE THE WORST KIND OF PERSON!!!!! YOU ARE WHAT MAKES AMERICA TERRIBLE!!!!! OMFG!!!!!!

It can't be written any clearer than that to show you what is happening. Just like those who are kneeling are not saying they hate America or the flag, the people who are disagreeing with the kneeling are not saying they don't agree with wanting everyone to be treated fairly. But when one side isn't treating the other side fairly regarding our basic right to agree/disagree with something, logic easily dictates that the intended message will not be received as it should be.

It always comes down to the "Look at me, not them" ideology in America. Everyone wants to be listened to but nobody wants to listen.

#28 | Posted by humtake at 2017-09-26 11:38 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The Founding Fathers would likely kick your teeth in for demanding people worship the Flag and National Anthem. - #25 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-09-26 11:16 AM
Surely you can point out anywhere that I've done so, right? You wouldn't want to be confused for a strawman slaying conservative, right?

#29 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-26 11:45 AM | Reply

You need to broadcast that both LOUDLY and CLEARLY during the run-ups to all future elections. Including your choice for candidate would be helpful as well.

#23 | Posted by Avigdore

Why? Americans already showed they don't care about respecting the military. They voted for a draft dodger who mocks POWs and the parents of fallen soldiers.

#30 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-09-26 11:49 AM | Reply

@#24 | Posted by danni at 2017-09-26 10:46 AM
I'm helping advertise (not celebrate) the ignorance of someone claiming that anyone who disagrees with them is an idiot. I'm recommending that they make the most use of their 1st amendment rights to proudly broadcast that information so there won't be anyone left ignorant to the fact that someone thinks: If someone finds kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful, that person is an idiot. - #16 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2017-09-25 07:57 PM

#31 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-26 11:49 AM | Reply

@30, meet @31

#32 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-26 11:50 AM | Reply

Which is why it lasted two years and the Federalists who passed it were booted from office.

#27 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2017-09-26 11:25 AM | FLAG:

"The Alien Enemies Acts remained in effect at the outset of World War I.[29] It was recodified to be part of the US war and national defense statutes (50 USC 21–24). On December 7, 1941, responding to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the authority of the revised Alien Enemies Act to issue presidential proclamations 2525 (Alien Enemies – Japanese), 2526 (Alien Enemies – German), and 2527 (Alien Enemies – Italian), to apprehend, restrain, secure and remove Japanese, German, and Italian non-citizens.[29] On February 19, 1942, citing authority of the wartime powers of the president and commander in chief, Roosevelt made Executive Order 9066, authorizing the Secretary of War to prescribe military areas and giving him authority that superseded the authority of other executives under Proclamations 2525-7. EO 9066 led to the internment of Japanese Americans, whereby over 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the Pacific coast were forcibly relocated and forced to live in camps in the interior of the country, 62% of whom were United States citizens, not aliens."

#33 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2017-09-26 11:52 AM | Reply

Both sides. OMFG!!! HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE!!!! YOU ARE THE WORST KIND OF PERSON!!!!! YOU ARE WHAT MAKES AMERICA TERRIBLE!!!!! OMFG!!!!!!

#28 | POSTED BY HUMTAKE

Nope. This is about President [sic] Trump. Athletes have been voicing their political views for a while now. Agree or disagree it is not really controversial at this point. Hoodies... kneeling... They will continue to do so when it strikes their fancy. Some people get a little pissy (though it is pretty obvious it is because they feel their "safe space" has been violated) but it isn't really a huge deal.

This IS a big deal. The controversy is over the President of the United States calling for people exercising their right to free speech to be fired or boycotted because he gets triggered by them. It is a violation of his station and an abuse of power to for the highest elected official in the US government to issue a call to action that suppresses speech.

Conservatives always like to wave around their pocket constitutions, but it is pretty clear that they have never read them. Because they don't have a clue as to what they actually say or what the intent is. Maybe not enough pictures???

#34 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2017-09-26 02:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

To be clear, which one is more despicable, to you?
#12 | POSTED BY EBERLY

lets all accept that you'll respond honestly... do you stand in your own home when you are alone
and the anthem is played? if you're in a sports bar and the anthem is played, do you stand and insist that everyone else do likewise?

#35 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-09-26 02:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The Founding Fathers passed the Alien and Sedition Acts.
#26 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG
Which is why it lasted two years and the Federalists who passed it were booted from office.
#27 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2017-09-26 11:25 AM | FLAG:
"The Alien Enemies Acts remained in effect at the outset of World War I.
#33 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

That's the Alien Enemies Act. Not the Alien and Sedition Act you cited earlier. Keep them straight please.

#36 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-09-26 03:03 PM | Reply

Trump making a mountain out of this mole hill during natural disasters and nuclear showdowns is moronic and unpresidential, but there was no assault on free speech here. The 1st amendment doesn't protect your speech made on a private companies' dime. Otherwise all these social media sites would have to stop banning people for posts they don't like, pharmacists could "take a knee" instead of giving out birth control if it conflicts with their beliefs, so on and so forth.

Fortunately for the victims, the oppressed football players, their owners are backing them, because they actually have every right to fire them if they so choose.

#37 | Posted by LIVE_OR_DIE at 2017-09-26 04:12 PM | Reply

"It always comes down to the "Look at me, not them" ideology in America. Everyone wants to be listened to but nobody wants to listen.
#28 | POSTED BY HUMTAKE"

One of the best non-profane descriptions of Trump I've seen in a while.

#38 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2017-09-27 12:27 PM | Reply

If someone finds kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful, that person is an idiot.

That's what I meant. They simply don't want to understand. It's such a simple gesture.

#16 | Posted by BruceBanner

What does it mean bru?

#39 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-09-27 01:41 PM | Reply

the same people that support trumps' position on this issue are the ones that support his position on the confederate flag and monuments. as far as the star spangled banner, read the entire text and make yourself aware of who exactly it lauded and who was commonly dismissed, admittedly, more or less as in accordance with the time it was written. a good source of perspective as it pertains to loyalty and patriotism can be found in letters written from people in the english colonies, which later came to be known as the united states, to their folks at home in england.
this country was founded on dissent and treasonous behaviour in their view. the dissent that is so enraging to some is in fact the highest form of praise to what that flag represents. patriotism is analogous to worship, substituting country for deity. try to look at these protests as a peaceful example of prayer...another example of our rights as american citizens

#40 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-09-27 01:43 PM | Reply

Why? Americans already showed they don't care about respecting the military. They voted for a draft dodger who mocks POWs and the parents of fallen soldiers.

#30 | Posted by SpeakSoftly

You mean bj willie?

#41 | Posted by Sniper at 2017-09-27 01:44 PM | Reply

"What does it mean bru?"

What's it mean when you kneel in church Sniper?

#42 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-27 01:45 PM | Reply

NRO: I Understand Why They Knelt

Sniper: I Don't Want To Understand Why They Knelt, Please Stop Trying To Make Me Understand Things, It's Scaring Me!

#43 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-27 01:53 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

#16 | Posted by BruceBanner

What does it mean bru?

#39 | Posted by Sniper

Not much of a football fan are you?

You never went to an actual football game?

Are you even an American?

Football players take a knee when there is an injury on the field. It is a sign of respect for the injured.

#44 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-09-27 01:54 PM | Reply

Why? Americans already showed they don't care about respecting the military. They voted for a draft dodger who mocks POWs and the parents of fallen soldiers.
#30 | Posted by SpeakSoftly

You mean bj willie?

#41 | POSTED BY SNIPER

maybe you should consider changing your handle...cause you sure can't hit what you're aiming at

#45 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-09-27 02:10 PM | Reply

"What's it mean when you kneel in church Sniper?
#42 | POSTED BY SNOOFY"

It means the rest of the altar boys have gone home, and Sniper is about to do his religious duty.

#46 | Posted by mOntecOre at 2017-09-27 06:35 PM | Reply | Funny: 2

I hate kneeling in churches. I'm always afraid of getting stuck like that.

#47 | Posted by LauraMohr at 2017-09-27 06:37 PM | Reply

"demanded that dissenters be fired"

What He said.
"Wouldn't you like to see NFL owners fire those who did not stand"

More fake news.

#48 | Posted by Federalist at 2017-09-27 08:22 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

By the way how come you libs were all after the NFL for CTE a week ago but now you are all buddy buddy?
Oh and why o you libs support the tax free bonds the NFL gets to build their stadiums?
You know the same tax free bonds that are reserved for public projects such as highways?

#49 | Posted by Federalist at 2017-09-27 08:26 PM | Reply

the same people that support trumps' position on this issue are the ones that support his position on the confederate flag and monuments. - #40 | Posted by ABlock at 2017-09-27 01:43 PM
This is a false statement.
I have military co-workers that find it very disrespectful to kneel during the anthem. Some of them are against removing monuments, some are for it, some are for allowing localities to make their own decisions on the matter.
What do you consider Trump's position on the confederate flag and monuments?

#50 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-27 08:42 PM | Reply

"I have military co-workers that find it very disrespectful to kneel during the anthem."

Have you told them they're stupid?
Because you don't find it disrespectful, and you're a smart guy!
You know the whole "kneeling" thing was crafted as the acceptable alternative to "sitting it out."

#51 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-27 08:45 PM | Reply

Have you told them they're stupid?

#51 | Posted by snoofy
Calling people names is a liberal thing.

#52 | Posted by Federalist at 2017-09-27 08:54 PM | Reply

So Snoofy supports the NFL players witch are by majority black getting CTE's for his enjoyment.

#53 | Posted by Federalist at 2017-09-27 08:56 PM | Reply

#49 #53
Feferalist , I bet you're nickname is Stretch.

#54 | Posted by bruceaz at 2017-09-27 09:04 PM | Reply

#54 | Posted by bruceaz
Do you have a point?

#55 | Posted by Federalist at 2017-09-27 09:13 PM | Reply

Libs built the stadiums, come on.
#53 bwaaha.

My point is now you're talking out of you're ass.

#56 | Posted by bruceaz at 2017-09-27 09:20 PM | Reply

Have you told them they're stupid? Because you don't find it disrespectful, and you're a smart guy! You know the whole "kneeling" thing was crafted as the acceptable alternative to "sitting it out." - #51 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-09-27 08:45 PM
No, I did not tell them that they are stupid. I don't think that people are stupid when they have a different opinion than me.
Honestly, I didn't know about the whole 'kneeling' thing until Clownshack made their post (copied from a friend)in the Brady topic last night.
Here's how I responded to it, in case you missed it:

Good post, CS. Hopefully folks reading who have a problem with the kneeling can rethink their position. - #78 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-26 09:54 PM

I felt strongly enough about it that I showed it to a few of my closest coworkers today. In general, military people are pretty close and talk pretty freely. Of the two who had an issue with the kneeling thing, one may have been swayed by it, the other understood the attempt, but still thought that the kneeling, while not disrespectful of those who died for the flag, was still disrespectful to the country that they fought for.
So obviously what those 2 considered acceptable isn't considered acceptable to all. Go figure.

#57 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-27 09:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Should have been a bit more clear: 'what those 2 considered acceptable' refers to Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Boyd.

#58 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-09-27 09:29 PM | Reply

I think if NFL players really want to make a difference and make a statement they should take a knee. Then they need to take the time out to go to some of these southern and midwestern states such as Alabama, Mississippi etc. and campaign for local change and get people out to vote. That is where they can really make a difference with those folks that have grown indifferent and cynical to the political process.

#59 | Posted by Badcat at 2017-09-27 09:45 PM | Reply

Well I was at the Patriots/Texans game last Sunday. The Texans all stood and 1/3 of the Patriots took a knee. I have gone to Pat's games for 25 years. I have never heard so many boos sent to the home team.
You can believe what you want but this is a big thing. Remember how far ahead Hillary was on election day?
www.sportingnews.com

#60 | Posted by Federalist at 2017-09-27 10:22 PM | Reply

Remember Massachusetts is a liberal State.

#61 | Posted by Federalist at 2017-09-27 10:23 PM | Reply

Calling people names is a liberal thing.

#52 | POSTED BY FEDERALIST

Yes, it was a liberal President who called football players who knelt S.O.B.s.

Why do you bother posting?

#62 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-09-28 01:10 AM | Reply

If someone finds kneeling during the national anthem disrespectful, that person is an idiot.

Actually, the act of kneeling IS a show of respect; just not in the way that most Americans show respect. The player doing the kneeling went out of his way to acknowledge the flag/anthem KNOWING that it would draw attention to himself and to his cause. The act of kneeling is an act of respect for the power of the flag/anthem and what it represents.

#63 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2017-09-28 06:26 AM | Reply

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