National Anthem and Flag Props
On June 20, 1782, the Bald Eagle became our national emblem, and those who made that selection felt strongly that the bird was a great example of long life, great strength and majestic looks.
The Bald Eagle of North America ran into problems due to hunting and the use of pesticides, like DDT, which almost wiped them out. In 1960, experts believed that there were only 400 breeding pairs left and they were put on the endangered species list. After lots of hard work by conservationists, the birds were back and removed from the list in 2007. If you’ve ever seen a Bald Eagle up close, they are indeed one of the most special birds in the world. Their wing-span can take your breath away.
Why are we talking about eagles? Well, they are the emblem of the football team from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. After 57 years, the Philadelphia Eagles finally won the National Football League Championship game, the Super Bowl. In the U.S.A., the team winning that big game traditionally gets an invite to the White House to be honored by the Commander-in-Chief. And that was the plan, until Donald Trump learned that only ten of the Eagles’ players were going to attend the White House celebration. Professional football teams have between 60 and 80 players and personnel.
Like a spoiled child, Trump canceled the party and attempted to blame the Eagles for the last-minute change. This President, who prides himself on fast action and flexibility, seemed rigid with the requirements on this one. To say that the Eagles were not sending a big enough team for the photo op because they wanted to pull off some political stunt was not true. The Donald immediately put together a political stunt of his own by staging a patriotic song fest on the south lawn. It’s never his fault when things go wrong.
A Philadelphia TV journalist who attended the flag waving party at the White House had an interesting report. After asking six people at the event to name the Eagles’ quarterback, none could answer. In fact, most of the people on the lawn that day were not fans of the Super Bowl Champs, but rather command-performance extras from government offices — in effect, event actors. Trump once again showed his lack of tact and inability to let a setback rest.
And this has given the Great Orange Leader an excuse to resurrect one of his major campaign rally cries and false assertions that the players have a lack of patriotism. He stirs his base with the lie that professional athletes disrespect the flag, the country and the military. Perhaps what began as a way for football players to show that black players distrust the judicial system and are focused on police brutality against people of color has now kind of become a protest against Trump himself?
As we write this, the National Basketball Championship is underway. The star player of each squad, Steph Curry and Lebron James, have said that if they win it’s unlikely their team would accept an invitation to the White House.
So, we see that when someone protests the protesters, another protest ignites. The simple calculus of this president is to never stop fighting, never apologize and never attempt to hear what anyone is saying about the other side of an issue. America is dealing with this right now, and the President who knows not what he does.
Some strategists say Trump’s putting the flag, the military and the National Anthem between himself and the large number of African-Americans who play sports is actually a form of micro-aggression against a whole race. Some trained psychiatrists might offer that the real reason behind this farce is not Trump’s hyper-patriotism, but the Donald’s downright racism.
What’s truly weird is Donald Trump thinks he is doing African-Americans a favor by being President. In his quest for votes from minorities he said to a whole race of Americans, “What do you have to lose?” The answer is in. They lost a little bit of their freedom and First Amendment rights. Thanks Goofball.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, along with the owners of the 32 teams have come up with their version of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.” They ruled that players on the field during the National Anthem must stand, but those who wanted to protest could stay in the locker room. That is like sending a surrogate to a protest march. If I cannot see you, how do I know whether you’re protesting or just taking a last-minute pee?
The President’s remarks hurt a U.S. business and industry. There is a cause and effect reality that fewer people watched the game to honor the President. He has created an anti-athlete bias among his followers on an issue that would have gone away had he simply ignored it. But the big mouth Orange Man has made it a problem. Now, this matter will be played out in the courts.
Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49er who started the take-a-knee protest, has filed a grievance against the NFL for collusion against him. Kaepernick claims that the owners of the 32 teams made a pact to keep him out of the game. Most sports fans know that when the San Francisco team dropped Kaepernick, he was more qualified than most of the back-up quarterbacks in the league. Despite that, not one team offered him a job. He was “blacklisted,” a term with double meaning in this case.
It is interesting that the word “collusion” is now a part of this situation and Trump has already taken a side. I am sure when Donald Trump talks to Roger Goodell, he tells him there was “no collusion.” In fact, the use of the word collusion here is entirely correct. Trump fixates on the word “collusion” because that was a major part of his business dealings to get a leg up on the competition.
However, collusion between Russian agents and a candidate, with the intent of them helping him to win the election in the United States, is treason. Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. I’ll predict that the NFL will lose the case against Kaepernick and will have to pay him large sums of money. Trump’s words will be used against the League, which means he will once again hurt the NFL, just like he challenged the same league when Trump owned the New Jersey Generals. Trump wants only to hurt his perceived enemies, even at the risk of wounding America.
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