The NFL was the subject of major headlines on Sunday following the protesting taking place during the national anthem. Although the protests have been occurring since Colin Kaepernick began the movement in support of Black Lives Matter last year, the number of participants drastically increased on September 24th due to President Trump’s controversial statement.
After Trump suggested that all players who take a knee during the anthem should be let go from the league, professional football players and coaches responded. Hundreds of players did not stand for the anthem, and a few teams took it as far as not making a public appearance during the song at all by waiting in their locker rooms until game time.
The country has been very divided on this issue—yes, Americans hold their right to protest, but is disrespecting the American flag during a sporting event the way to exercise your freedom of speech? Many would say no.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, responded to a reporter’s question in relation to the NFL national anthem protesting controversy on Monday. In her response, she gave her opinion on the issue and defended President Trump.
A reporter asked Sanders, “The protest is about fighting police brutality—fighting racial disparity, racial injustice, you’re not taking him at his word; you’re saying the focus has long since moved on, but when white supremacists say that their protest is about heritage not hate, the president does take them at their word. So why is there this disparity about who gets to decide what the protest is about?”
Sanders responded with a remark insinuating that the proposed reasonings for this specific protest are completely unrelated to the platform the protesters are using—the national anthem, “I think if the debate is really for them about police brutality, they should probably protest the officers on the field that are protecting them instead of the American flag.”
Listen to a clip of Sarah Huckabee Sanders speak during the White House press briefing below. Do you agree with her response? Share your thoughts in our Facebook comments.
In related news, NFL fans retaliated against players who protested during the national anthem.