A far-right party has just entered the German parliament^. It is a frightening indicator that even a nation that has put people through – and gone itself through – terrible suffering at the hands of such ideology is not safe from a wave of worldwide nationalism that threatens to do great harm to our society in the near future. In the meantime, somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean the very same nationalism is mocking sportsmen’s civic attitude^. I’m referring here to Trump’s comments about National (American) Football League players who kneel during the singing of the national anthem in protest of the racial segregation in their country.
To call somebody that has gone through grueling physical trials to reach the pinnacle of a sport a “son of a bitch” is the lowest I’ve seen Trump sink since taking office. This is why for me this is even more important than the predictable election result of a German right-wing party. Regardless of Trump’s policies, as president of the United States he is also a trend-setter, especially in countries within the USA’s sphere of influence (which is not limited to NATO countries).
Trump has an issue with sportsmen using the NFL as a sort of political platform in order to protest racial discrimination. It is sad that he has the slightest negative personal gripe with this and outright preposterous that he goes public with it. The very fact that people have become so desperate as to use sport as a means of protest should make every American think twice about the dismal situation in which their divided federation finds itself. Trump, of course, should read a bit of history, as there have been at least four major boycotts of the Olympic Games^: this is not the first time sport has been used to draw attention towards an outrageous situation.
The players’ respect towards “the flag” is called into question. This is incredibly misguided and it’s sad that some people even consider the notion. I like to think that for some Americans their flag means more than a tool for encouraging people to consume and die for in unjust wars. I’m sure that quite a few Americans like to think of their flag as a symbol of everybody. Those players are defending what that flag – any flag for that matter – should really stand for: a symbol of union. Instead, they are mocked by a person who preaches division by trickling poison into the hearts and minds of those desperate enough to take it (and there’s plenty of those across the world now-a-days).