President Trump called an audible Monday and told the Philadelphia Eagles not to suit up and show up at The White House for the traditional photo-op after winning the Super Bowl.
“The Philadelphia Eagles are unable to come to the White House with their full team to be celebrated tomorrow,” the White House said in a statement late Monday. “They disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country. The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”
President Trump followed up that official announcement with a tweet saying: “The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!”
This appears to be the hill the NFL wishes to die on. The league and its commissioner Roger Goodell just don’t get the fact that most of the TV and stadium audiences for a pro football game voted for Trump.
Many Americans have turned their backs on the league since this National Anthem protest began and continues with the league sanctioning the protest by recently announcing that players can stay in the locker room if they do not wish to stand at attention.
I have written exhaustively on this subject. When these players show up at stadia across the nation on Sunday afternoons or the four other dates the league has spread out to, they are at the workplace. Who else in America has the right to act as they wish in the workplace? I can’t.
I have to abide by the decorum of the office in dress, manner, language and behavior. If I chose not to act accordingly, I could be fired for cause.
Not these players, the ones who wish to disrespect the flag and country for a cause. It’s just not the time or place.
If you want to further the conversation, then take your new-found stardom and protest and speak up outside the stadium. You have plenty of free time during the week after practice to speak your mind and organize other like-minded players and people.
So The President has every right as Commander-in-Chief to defend the flag in this instance.
And the NFL and Roger Goodell had better get this under control before this season or my prophesy that I wrote for The New York Post in January 2016 may be too optimistic.