Sports stars protest after Trump lashes out

Sports stars protest after Trump lashes out
Photo credit: Getty

A wave of protests has reignited across United States sports fields after President Donald Trump called for players who protest the national anthem to be fired.

Mr Trump lashed out at the "son of a bitch" protesting players during a speech in Alabama on Friday night (local time) and on Twitter.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired. He's fired!'"

In response, a number of sports players, coaches, executives, fans, and even anthem singers around the country have been kneeling during the national anthem before games.

One Twitter user said "Can't recall the last time I saw something so perfectly express the duality of being black and an American as Dubois identified in 1903."

Even Stevie Wonder kneeled "for America" at the beginning of his set at the 2017 Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park. 

"Not just one knee, but both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, and leaders of our world.

The protest method of 'taking a knee' took off after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem before a game in August 2016.

When asked why, he cited police brutality and wider racism in the United States.

"There's people being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable. Cops are getting paid leave for killing people."

Immediately following the game, a number of high profile sports stars criticised Kaepernick's actions.

"You got to respect the flag and you got to stand up with your teammates," said New York Giants' Victor Cruz.

"You have to show some respect, especially in this position that we're in where we're playing a game for a living, it's almost disrespectful. You see all these pictures of veterans that have no legs and they're standing up on their wheelchair," said Minnesota Vikings' Alex Boone.

Many veterans have argued they fought for the freedom to protest.

Kaepernick's management initially backed him up, supporting his right "to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem".

However, his contract with the San Francisco 49ers was not renewed and he has not yet signed with another team.


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