President Donald Trump didn’t hold back when he expressed his displeasure with the National Football Lague (NFL) allowing players to kneel during the anthem. This lit a fire under the controversy, leading to more protests and liberals speaking out in support of this divisive message that entitled athletes were sending. It’s been nearly a week of this tug-of-war between right and wrong on this matter that has come to a head in an unexpected way, just inches from Trump’s motorcade today.
The protests have always been about disrespecting our flag and showing a complete lack of appreciation for those who died defending it. If it was simply to bring about “unity” and attention to supposed police brutality in the black community, these players could have shared their opinion on the matter outside of the National Anthem. They wanted the attention and reason to get publicly irate at a perceived problem they brought to the surface and have taken way too far.
Since the president spoke out about their actions, they protests become almost entirely as a way to show hate to the Commander-in-Chief who rightfully addressed the issue. All manner of threats and accusations ensued from there. On Wednesday, he was in Indianapolis when his security detail noticed what someone was doing just inches from the armored vehicles and snapped a picture.
This shot speaks volumes more than what these athletes have been doing all week on their knees. This background behind what brought this man to Trump’s ride sends a stronger message that what he realized he was making.
A black man was on his knee outside the motorcade for a different reason than those in the NFL, based on who he is and what he was holding. While what he had to say was not an opinion that everyone agrees on, there was another message that he didn’t know he was sharing but is the one that really needs to be heard.
The Hill reports:
An Army veteran who took a knee with a folded flag as President Trump’s motorcade passed by him on Wednesday says the president’s criticism of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem is “totally wrong.”
Marvin Boatright told The Huffington Post that he hoped someone in Trump’s motorcade would notice him kneeling while wearing an American Legion hat and holding a folded flag as the motorcade passed by en route to Trump’s speech on tax reform.
“For the commander-in-chief to call our citizens ‘sons of a bitches’ was totally wrong and beneath the dignity of the office that he holds,” Boatright told the Post.
A photo of Boatright kneeling went viral Thursday on Twitter.
While it’s Boatright’s opinion to think that what the president said was “totally wrong,” he has the right to feel that way without inciting violence since he did so in a respectable manner when the anthem wasn’t being performed. He knows what it means to honor the flag and respects what it represents while having a difference of opinion too.
The problem has never been people not showing compassion for their convictions or right to express them. It’s always been about a time and place and kneeling protesters knew what they were doing when they disrespectfully did so during our nation’s sacred anthem. It doesn’t make someone racist to expect respect either.
“As a veteran, and as an African-American, we have already and we continue to serve for God and country,” Boatright went on to explain to The Huffington Post. “But you can have a love of God and country and still be against social injustice. You don’t have to separate one from the other.”
While the injustice he speaks of is debatable, given that more black men are shot by other black men than they are by white police officers, he at least sets a good example that you can respect our flag and other people’s opinions while still making the point you say you’re trying to make.
I don’t agree with Boatright on this matter but can agree to disagree with him since he’s had the audacity to express his opinion in a peaceful manner that wasn’t meant as a distraction from honoring our country. He sent a powerful message in his own right and that’s what needs to be recognized by those who do it differently.
Trump can even appreciate this since his words have been twisted to mean something different than how he delivered them. All he wanted was for people to express their opinions in the right time and place, which Boatright did. If unity are what these kneelers are really after, then they can go about advocating for that in a way which actually promotes peace.