How Trump May Emerge as Victor in Anthem Fight

If NFL keeps losing fans, president emerges as winner, writes columnist
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2017 11:40 AM CDT
What Editorials Are Saying About Anthem Protests
Denver Broncos kneel during the national anthem Sunday.   (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

NFL players' reaction to President Trump in regard to the national anthem was, not surprisingly, a big topic on Monday's op-ed pages. Here's a sampling:

  • Wall Street Journal: The newspaper's editorial sounds fed up with everybody involved, blaming the left for initially exploiting the Colin Kaepernick situation, then Trump for exploiting the blowback. It adds that players who kneel shouldn't be surprised to hear boos, because "disrespecting the national anthem puts partisanship above a symbol of nationhood that thousands have died for." But ultimately, the real losers in all this "are the millions of Americans who would rather cheer for their teams on Sunday as a respite from work and the other divisions of American life."
  • Daily Caller: In a column, Scott Greer writes that Trump seems to be relishing his role as an "Oval Office culture warrior," perhaps because his legislative agenda keeps hitting roadblocks. This fight may pay off: "In the fight over kneeling, Trump is facing off against out-of-touch athletes who appear to be opposing the flag and the troops. ESPN and most political pundits may think he is a dummy for engaging in this fight, but if [the] NFL continues to lose fans over it, Trump will come out as the victor."

  • New York Times: Its editorial pits Trump as the villain here and Kaepernick as the hero of sorts. The QB still can't find a team, but the weekend protests "might well have been a huge victory for free speech and the cause of racial justice he has so bravely espoused." The editorial gives the last word to LeBron James, who tweeted of Trump that "going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
  • Washington Post: The editors don't care what Trump thinks of Kaepernick. But "when his response to protest is to question patriotism rather than engage on the issue of unequal policing—then it is Mr. Trump who 'disrespects our Flag & our Country.'"
  • USA Today: Its editorial faults Trump as "divider in chief" and says his use of the presidential bully pulpit to fault those exercising their right to dissent is "simply indecent." But an op-ed at the newspaper by former Nebraska Congressman Jon Christensen praises Trump's move. "When millionaire athletes refuse to honor America and pay homage to the men and women who died for our freedom, and instead, choose to use their field of occupation to make a statement, then I can choose to turn the channel." They do indeed deserve to be fired, he adds.
(More NFL stories.)

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