After Donald Trump’s commentary on the NFL’s rules on no kneeling policy last week, other GOP politicians are doubling down on the new ruling.
In case you missed it, the NFL shocked many players and fans across the board last week when they announced that the league will begin to issue fines for players who kneel during the National Anthem.
In the NFL’s own words, “[The] protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic.”
Not everyone in the league is for this new ruling. Some players have opted to potentially sit out the season until Colin Kaepernick is reinstated while various team owners have announced they will pay the fines of players who decided to take a knee during the singing of the nation’s song. However, Republican New York Representative Peter T. King says New York Jets Chairman Christopher Johnson is “disgraceful” for supporting his players’ right to protest.
Disgraceful that @nyjets owner will pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem. Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It’s time to say goodbye to Jets!
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) May 26, 2018
Rep. King used Twitter — like most people — to express his grievances with Johnson and any other coach who would support their team and “pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes…”
Aside from King comparing peaceful protests in the name of human and civil rights, it’s hard to believe that in the age of body cams, cell phones with video and social media there are lawmakers that still doubt that Blacks are unfairly and dangerously policed in this country.
While Trump and the Right Wing view the ongoing protests as blatant disrespect and an attack on the flag and the country’s active and retired military members, supporting NFL players, protestors and fans alike maintain that this a movement to highlight the overwhelming number of police brutality cases occurring and ultimately killing many unarmed Black men.
Thought Christopher Johnson is in the limelight now, it isn’t the first time he’s openly supported his players. Last year, Johnson was photographed linking arms with NFL Jets players at MetLife Stadium before their match-up against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 24, 2017.
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) May 29, 2018
Rep. King posted a CBS article about the “Jets getting an earful on Twitter over anthem stance” to his Twitter account. He supplemented the post with an accompanying caption that read, “CBS New York reports from Massapequa Park Parade [(in which King ironically spelled incorrectly)] that veteran’s groups plan campaign to to burn Jets jerseys and boycott games.” But he didn’t allow his 210 character caption to go live without uploading a traditional “God bless America” post that included images of him shaking hands with some of Massapequa’s most “patriotic.”
Outstanding patriotic Memorial Day Parade in Massapequa and Massapequa Park. Large, enthusiastic crowds. Great people who respect America's veterans and America's flag. Proud to represent them. God Bless all who have made the ultimate sacrifice! God Bless America!! pic.twitter.com/HflAza8Jj7
— Rep. Pete King (@RepPeteKing) May 28, 2018
Johnson’s NFL controversy is only the tip of the iceberg. Although Johnson is a fervent supporter of the kneeling movement, his brother, Woody Johnson, serves as Trump’s ambassador to Britain.
Statement from Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson pic.twitter.com/4JObk43oDT
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 23, 2018
Johnson doesn’t plan to break NFL rules, but he does stand to support his team and use their platform to advance social justice issues.