Now You Must Hate The Broncos For Donald Trump

ORCHARD PARK, NY – SEPTEMBER 24: Denver Broncos players kneel during the American National Anthem before an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills on September 24, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Denver7:

President Trump singled out NFL athletes on Friday, telling owners they should “fire” any player who kneels during the national anthem, while encouraging fans to walk out of stadiums.

The NFL players responded with a clear message on Sunday, protesting through a variety of methods before their games. Only 19 Broncos players stood for the anthem before their game against the Buffalo Bills, according to Denver7’s count. Multiple sources told Denver7 those kneeling were responding directly to Trump’s remarks before an audience in Alabama on Friday.

Among those protesting ahead of the game Sunday were star outside linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, who not only knelt but locked arms with inside linebacker Brandon Marshall.

“It was his choice of words. I felt like he was pointing out a few guys. I felt like it was an attack on the National Football League, talking about ratings and all this other stuff,” Miller said following the Broncos’ 26-16 loss. “This my life. I love everything about the NFL. I try not to get into any politics and social issues and just play ball. But I felt like it was an attack.”

Added Marshall, who took a knee for eight games last season to promote awareness of social injustices, “It’s hard because I am sure a lot of us took it personally. Some of the guys came and talked to me and said they were ready to do it. I think we all took it personally.”

9NEWS highlighted a comment from a fan they considered representative:

Today, the NFL died to me. I have been a loyal, faithful Denver Broncos fan for nearly 50 years! You turning your back on my flag? The flag that affords you the privilege to play the game you love on a field & earn millions of dollars doing it? I’m turning my back on you & just so you know, I can live without the NFL but the NFL cannot live without me & the millions of white fans that fill those stadiums! [Pols emphasis]

For our part, we hope that comment is not representative.

Although some NFL players including the Broncos’ Brandon Marshall have been engaging in this small but highly visible protest action for some time, following the lead of now-unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick, it was President Donald Trump’s suggestion that players should be fired for taking a knee during the national anthem that prompted the vastly larger protests seen yesterday. In addition to large numbers of players kneeling and/or locking arms during the national anthem, other teams waited until after the anthem had finished playing to take the field.

For Coloradans, for whom support for the Denver Broncos is as close to a universal cultural obligation as anything can be, this sudden escalation of tensions between NFL players and President Trump is either welcome or deeply off-putting. The players regard this as a chance not just to protest, but to show their huge fan bases that what’s happening is too serious for anyone with any kind of notoriety to remain quiet.

The knee-jerk backlash from affronted partisans is inevitable. But will that be followed by what the players are hoping to inspire–a crisis of conscience among the American public?

Because that’s what really matters, not how it goes over on Fox & Friends.

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Early WormEarly Worm says:

    I believe that there can be a reasonable discussion about whether kneeling (or sitting or raising a fist) during the national anthem is an appropriate protest. But do not fool yourself into believing that this most recent dustup is not about race.

    Donald Trump, dog whistler extraordinaire, once again turned a nuanced discussion into a divisive, racially charged shouting match.  It is not a coincidence that he spouted off in Alabama, the heart of Dixie, where the only thing they like better than football is segregation. The bigots can only stomach "those people" on their college campuses if they are performing athletically (and the more violent the better) for the greater glory of Alabama (or Auburn, or Old Miss, or Georgia). But once they get uppity, fire the SOB!

    You don't have to be a racist to be a Republican, or a Trump supporter or to disagree with kneeling during the national anthem, but Trump is making sure that if stand with him, you are surrounded by racists. Trump stinks, and his stench will cling to you if you stand too close. 

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      You didn't answer your own question. Do you think it's appropriate for any American to kneel during the national anthem or don't you? I say it's not and a lot of Americans agree with me. No one should be put in jail, but private companies like the NFL have the right to take the views of their customers into consideration if they take action against the players. That's all Trump was saying, and he's right.

      Can we just watch football without a social justice lesson??? Football, for Pete's sake??

      • Pseudonymous says:

        Uh...

        Before 2009, football players standing for the national anthem wasn’t even a thing. The teams stayed in the locker room until after “and the hoooome of the braaaave,” and then ran onto the field. No one was offended, and no one was on cable news eliciting tears from disrespected military families. But then, the Department of Defense and the National Guard got involved. They began to pay the NFL millions of dollars to have ostentatious flag ceremonies before games. If the waste of taxpayer money isn’t gross enough, grab your barf bag as you learn about the motivation behind the expenditure. The DOD and the National Guard were marketing to sports fans. The concept was that if sports fans saw their favorite athletes standing for the Star Spangled Banner, or saluting the flag, they’d emulate that behavior and become more patriotic themselves. Kind of like the nationalist version of a Nike endorsement contract. I’ll leave open the question of why the U.S. government didn’t also see fit to sponsor other praiseworthy behavior by high-profile athletes, such as living non-violent personal lives, refraining from using illicit substances, and paying taxes.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        There was a guy about 2000 years ago who publicly protested injustices in his time, and was hated so much by the ruling class that he got himself killed. What was his name, again? You would think people would make a whole religion around his teachings and try to emulate him. Instead, we've turned his religion into a sporting event. #WWJD?

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          He has no idea who you are talking about Michael.  The Prosperity Gospel only highlights winners.  Don't ask about the 1st Amendment either.  He has no idea what it means to peaceably assemble but he does support tiki torch parades and monuments to slavery.  Thems there are real American values.  Just ask him who are real the American patriots: Jefferson Davis or George Washington Carver?

      • unnamed says:

        Well Moldy.  Roger Goodell disagrees with you.   You don't have a problem with Right Wing celebs saying whatever, regardless of who they alienate.  Then you whine about boycotts against them because because free speech.  Want to make kneeling a make or break issue, fine.  If enjoying football is more important to you than a minor social justice demonstration, then you don't need to waste what little brain power you have on whether players kneel or stand.

      • Early WormEarly Worm says:

        Moddy – if you want my opinion about the demonstrations, here it is -Yes, I think it is appropriate for Americans to kneel during the national anthem. It may be more respectful and reverential than standing. I also think people have the constitutional right to sit, turn your back, or do other potentially disrespectful things. I also think that private companies have the right to include certain "morality clauses" in their employment contracts that would limit an employee's exercise of her constitutional rights (free speech, assembly) based on real or perceived legitimate business interests. Therefore, in my view, Colin Kapernick has a right to protest, and individual owners should have the right to not hire him.  But that is not what Trump is saying.

        He is demanding the NFL owners (all heavily subsidized by local governments and protected against anti-trust laws) fire the "SOBs". He is telling private companies what to do and is using the most powerful office in the world to stifle free speech that he doesn't like. And it is racially motivated to boot.

        And don't tell me that you have moral superiority because "a lot of Americans agree" with you. Most Americans opposed civil rights protesters and Martin Luther King, Jr., in the 60's, and LGBT rights and AIDS demonstrators in the 90's. Most Americans disapproved of those protesting against the US's invasion of Iraq. Though you will disagree, a majority of Americans were on the wrong side of history on all of these issues.

        Having answered my "own question," the point of my post remains: Our current president is a divider that seeks to inflame racial strife and embolden the worst among us. Whether he does this because he is a genuine racist or because he is an opportunist that thinks it assists him in mobilizing his base is immaterial. 

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I guess the NFL should come out against Repeal And Replace then?  You know, "take the views of their customers into consideration"?

        Glad you admit that it's a "social justice" issue, though!  BTW, it was your spewing SodaFountainof(SocialIn)justice that pushed this into the area of politics, Fluffykins!

        You watch all the NFL your itsybitsy widdle mind desires . . . I've never understood why anyone would waste hours of their lives sitting in front of a television watching the crap that occurs between all the crap commercials anyway . . . me? I'd have to start caring about the broncos, et al, before I could begin to like, or not like, any of it.  If I'm gonna' watch any broncos there better be a rodeo ring involved!

        Ps. You see anything wrong with kneeling in church? . . .

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        I think some folks here think you are cute, Fluffy. But by and large you are simply a despicable person in desperate need of a social justice lesson. But you are incapable of understanding justice, so I guess the point is moot. 

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    All this Presidential attention and political kerfuffle over some football player kneeling?!? . . . 

    . . . maybe we should try now to some some common ground, something we can all agree on??? . . . 

    So, maybe now we can all finally come together and agree, Tim Tebow really sucked!?!

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Trump really is his own worst enemy. I know people watching NFL games now just  to see who's kneeling or protesting. Also to boost game ratings. (Take that, Mr. reality TV star!)

    With one ill-considered remark about "firing that son of a bitch" (Kaepernik or other kneeling protesters), he has united players, owners, and fans against him.

    He really understands very little about how normal people's minds work.

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