Athletes have the right to take a knee

Published 8:37 am Monday, September 25, 2017

The President of the United States has the same freedom of speech rights that professional sports players have. But that doesn’t mean everything said under that right makes sense.

President Trump said late last week that he doesn’t like that some NFL players kneeling in protest during the National Anthem — “they should be fired” – and he uninvited the NBA’s Steph Curry to the White House because Curry has been outspoken about the President.

We also can’t understand why President Trump complained that NFL games aren’t violent enough, with referees “ruining the game” by throwing penalty flags for overly-aggressive action.

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It has been well documented that the NFL is trying to make games less aggressive for the safety of players.

Likewise, players kneeling during the National Anthem have made clear their reasoning — primarily the treatment of African American citizens. The act is a classic, non-threatening protest, the kind of thing that has made America a great nation, not a weak nation.

This public condemnation from the President is also resulting in more racial discord at a time when the opposite is needed, considering the players he’s attacking are African American and his comments began during a speech to a mostly-white audience in Alabama.

Even New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a staunch Trump supporter, said Sunday that the President’s tone made him “deeply disappointed.”

We feel the very same way.