Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills has been kneeling during the national anthem to protest the racist American justice system for portions of the last three NFL seasons. Stills is extremely serious about his activism — in February, he took a road trip in an RV to meet civil-rights supporters across America.
At the same time, the Dolphins have been sniping at their activist players in the press and devising ever-more-elaborate ways to punish them. After yet another stupid brouhaha earlier this year in which the 'Fins threatened to suspend kneeling players for an astounding four games, Stills and fellow wideout Albert Wilson stuck it to team owner Stephen Ross and kneeled during the anthem at last night's preseason opener at Hard Rock Stadium. Defensive end Robert Quinn raised his fist in support.
Despite threatening to suspend protesting players, the Dolphins are probably not going to do anything after all, because they are cowards still trying to figure out if it's more profitable to punish their civil-rights protestors and please the NFL's worst fans — or a better business PR move to actually be good human beings and support their players' criminal-justice-reform work.
Now our wide, salty president is mad again this morning and tweeting about the kneeling Dolphins from what we can only assume is an orthopedic mattress at his estate in Bedminster, New Jersey. One tweet literally just begins with "be happy, be cool," which would be a legitimately hilarious thing for a presidential parody account to tweet in 2018, but is instead an actual statement from the president, who controls the nation's economic policies but has not yet figured out how to thread his tweets:
The NFL players are at it again - taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
.....Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
Trump claims the players' issues with the justice system are "undefinable" despite activists' demands being extremely clear and reducible to plain-English bullet points. The Los Angeles Times posted a depressing choose-your-own-adventure game yesterday showing readers how impossible it is to fight charges if you've been arrested by a racist and/or lying cop.
But it's useless "debunking" a Trump tweet at all since the posts are quite literally the ramblings of a confused, old man watching TV from his golf course. In reality, the NFL's cowardly, flip-flopping owners did this to themselves. First, the NFL screwed up by caving
Worth remembering: Studies show that people who get mad at kneeling players also tend to be racists in general!
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The NFL has meanwhile issued its own statement on the Dolphins' protest last night. League spokesperson Brian McCarthy told reporters yesterday that the NFL's anti-protest policy (in which players must either stand for the anthem or "demonstrate" inside the locker room) is still intact, even though the NFL put a hold on that policy just a few weeks ago.
"There has been no change in the NFL's policy regarding the national anthem," McCarthy said last night. "The anthem will continue to be played before every game, and all player and non-player personnel on the field at that time are expected to stand during the presentation of the flag and performance of the anthem. Personnel who do not wish to do so can choose to remain in the locker room. We remain committed to working with the players to identify solutions and to continue making progress on important social issues affecting our communities."
Colin Kaepernick, who helped spark the movement and has been rewarded with a boycott by NFL owners, congratulated Stills yesterday on his continued activism in the face of a wave of stupid, bad-faith criticism:
My brother @kstills continued his protest of systemic oppression tonight by taking a knee. Albert Wilson @iThinkIsee12 joined him in protest. Stay strong brothers!— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 10, 2018
@footcandles#imwithkap #imwithereid #takeaknee pic.twitter.com/LimoadfUcW
In other world news, the Saudi government, with U.S. support, blew up a school bus full of Yemeni children yesterday. Maybe the president is bad?