Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 30, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 30, 2017 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 30, 2017 OPINION 
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It occurred to me after a weekend of presidentialturmoil and NFL solidarity that the act of kneelinghas been completely misinterpreted. In almost everyreligious faith, kneeling is a sign of reverence. It is avisible display of humility and has been recognizedfor generations as gracious act. Only now, has it beendefined as something negative. It is not as if the NFL

players have turned their backs to the National Anthem, that would be disrespectful.
Instead, they are showing reverence and humility to demonstrate that for all the goodin our nation, we have serious problems and the lives lost due to bigotry, racism, andhate must always be remembered. I think the average American has a certain level ofdistain for professional athletes overall. In many cases, we view them as people thatsomehow won a path to easy street. The fact is that it is statistically easier to becomesuccessful in business then it is to become a professional athlete. 

I am also disturbed by the number of veterans that oppose this completely respectfulform of protest. As a US Veteran myself, I voluntarily put my life on the line in defenseof our country. I defended the rights of all our citizens to express their views publiclyand in peace. I defended the rights of people to marry who they chose, to practice thefaith of their choice, to identify with the gender that gives them inner peace, to live inpeace and safety with the protections of due process as afforded by our constitution,
and the right to acknowledge that this country is not perfect. 

The US Flag should stand as a symbol of national pride in the notion that the UnitedStates is constantly striving to achieve equality for all. Kneeling is an appropriate wayto demonstrate both allegiance to the flag and reverence to those Americans that weall failed to protect. The flag does not represent my moral absolutes, that is what my 
faith provides. 

Until we can show reverence and respect for peaceful protest regardless of ourpersonal beliefs and values, our country’s progress towards equality will never berealized. If we continue this unhealthy practice of vilifying those that disagree withus, then it is just a matter of time before the US flag becomes nothing more thana symbol of our national hypocrisy and the men and women that have made theultimate sacrifice in defense of this great nation would have died in vain. 

NFL owners,
when somebodydisrespects our 
flag, to say ‘getthat son of a b ---- 
off the field rightnow? Out! He’s 
fired! He’s fired!’” 
Thanks to the 
meddler in chief,
one in eight players 
took a knee during the national anthem 
during the games last weekend 
and Monday. 

They didn’t take a knee to support Kaepernick 
or to disrespect the flag. Theydid it to protest Trump and his attackon NFL players. 

Yes, President Trump said what somany of us are feeling. But he had noreason to get in the middle of stuff hedoesn’t need to be in – and shouldn’t 
be in. 

Trump unconditional supporters arepraising him for taking a stand, but hewasn’t leading the way. 

The ones who should take credit for 
taking a stand against the NFL “Kneelers” 
are the people of the United States.
We’re the ones who’ve stopped watching 
or going to the games because of the 
players’ politics. We deserve the credit.
The president is following the people’slead. He joined the winning team afterthe game was over. 

I know we can chalk up the president’smeddling to the all-purpose excuse –
“It’s Trump being Trump.” 

But the president should never call anyone 
a “S.O.B.” in public. 

Not even if he really feels that way. Noteven though we may agree with him.
There simply are things a presidentshould not do or say – let’s call it “Presidential 
Behavior 101.” 

I know President Trump was playingto his base again. I know they cheeredhis comments and fell in love with him 
even more. 

But I’m tired of hearing him soundmore like Jimmy Kimmel than thepresident. 

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald 
Reagan, a political consultant, and theauthor of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St.
Martin’s Press). 



On the day thatDonald Trump tried to mess with America’s 
national religion, professional football 
took the knee and beat The Dividerin-
Chief at his own game.
What triumphed on Sunday wasn’t thebluster of a spoiled bully, but rather oneof decency and the most fundamentalof American values: The solidarity of a 
From stadiums in the United States and 
London, the players - and critically - the 
owners - stood together, sending an unmistakable 
message: Trump could bluster 
but he would not prevail.
He was on their playing field now. And 
his ugly attempt to gain yardage with acheap political trick hit a wall as immovable 
as the Buffalo Bills’ defensive line. 
Let’s be clear: There are few contemporary 
politicians better at bread and circuses 
than the current occupant of 1600Pennsylvania Avenue.
Few know better than Trump how tomanipulate the news cycle, how to createa firestorm of distraction, to gin up the 
rage of the crowd, all the better to blowwhatever current controversy ails him offthe front page.
Were you talking about Trump son-inlaw 
Jared Kushner’s use of private emailto conduct private White House businesson Sunday? Were you talking about the 
escalating tensions with North Korea,
punctuated by the same kind of childishname-calling, that now appears to havebrought the United States to the brink ofwar? 
Of course you weren’t. Mission 
Or so Trump thought.
But this time, rather than punchingdown, Trump took on a multibillion-dollar 
professional sports league, one whosegladiatorial matches own our Sunday afternoons, 
and one whose annual championship 
game brings the entire country toa halt on a cold night in February, a rarenational unifier in our age of division.
And so it was, that as Trump called formostly white team owners to either fireor suspend the black players who choose 
to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” 
those same owners and players -
black and white alike - locked arms and 
stood against this small-minded tirade:
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of theseNFL owners, when somebody disrespects 
our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch 

off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” 
Trump bellowed during a rally in Alabama 
on Friday night. “He’s fired!’ Youknow, some owner is going to do that. 
He’s going to say, ‘That guy disrespects 
our flag; he’s fired.’ And that owner . . .
they’ll be the most popular person in thiscountry.”
It might have been enough that the players 
locked arms. But the fact that theywere joined by their risk-averse employers 
sent an even stronger signal.
Rebuffs from the likes of Patriots’ owner 
Robert Kraft and Jacksonville owner Shahid 
Khan, who had financially supportedTrump were an unmistakable message:
We may support you, but if you try tomess with our livelihoods and our players, 
you’re on your own.
On Twitter, Trump tried to claim that hisanger toward the players “had nothing todo with race.” In fact, it has everything 
to do with race. But a president who putsNazis and Neo-Confederates on a level 
playing field with those who resist them 
wouldn’t understand that. 
Former San Francisco 49er quarterbackColin Kaepernick specifically took theknee last year to protest the treatment ofblacks at the hands of mostly white policeofficers. 
He was told to shut up and play; if hewanted to exercise his constitutional 
rights to free expression, he could do it onhis own time - as if the rights conferredby the First Amendment are somehowsituational or constrained by geography.
But as the rest of the nation got “woke,”
so too did the professional athletes whoare supposed to perform for our pleasurefor 16 weekends during the fall and early 
As Trump tried to bring the NFL to heel;
as he tried to falsely shame Golden StateWarriors star Stephen Curry for not accepting 
the “honor” of appearing at theWhite House, he ran into a barrier biggerthan his imaginary border wall and ironyjust as towering.
The spoiled billionaire trying to get hisown way decided to tangle with star athletes 
nearly as wealthy and, in this instance, 
nearly as powerful, as the Leaderof the Free World, himself. 
Trump should have remembered, however, 
that wealth confers a great deal, including 
the freedom not to bow to pressure 
and to march to beat of your own 
For the players, this issue is a deeply personal 
one. It’s about equality and civiljustice. As much as he wants to, Trumpcan’t separate that issue from the falseflag of patriotism.
There are few things more patriotic thanstanding up by sitting down. And onSunday, by taking the knee, the NFL won.

An award-winning political journalist, Micekis the Opinion Editor and Political Columnistfor PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, 


Please, Mr. Trump, I’m on bended knee. 

Please, Mr. Trump, quit acting like atalk-show host and start acting like thepresident of the United States.
When it comes to NFL players and NFLteams taking a knee in protest beforetheir football games, I’m pretty muchlike most Americas. 

I was appalled at what quarterback Colin 
Kaepernick did last year when hedecided to remain seated during thenational anthem. 

In his head, Kaepernick was protesting 
what he claims is the ongoing oppression 
of people of color in America bypolice. Fine. 

But most of the country interpreted itdifferently. 

They saw a privileged, highly paid proathlete disrespecting the American flagand those who served under it in battle. 
Kaepernick has paid a high personal 
price for his principles. He’snow unemployed -- and apparentlyunemployable. 

Though not a superstar, he’s probablybetter than half a dozen no-name backup 
quarterbacks in the NFL. 

Yet his pre-game troublemaking andthe bad publicity he’s created for himself 
and the league has clearly kept him 
from being picked up by a team thatcould use him. 

No owner wants to have to deal with 
him or the negative attention thatcomes with him. 

His best hope might be getting a CFLteam to sign him if he promises to behave 
during “O Canada.” 

Four weeks ago the whole Kaepernick 
protest thing was beginning to fadeaway on its own. Only about four NFLplayers were still taking the knee during 
the “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
With its TV ratings falling and attendance 
in decline for other reasons, theleague office was thrilled to see the NFLprotest movement losing steam. So wasthe rest of a politically weary America.
But then, late in the fourth quarter,
President Trump streaked onto thefield. 

At a rally for the Senate primary inAlabama last Friday, he told a crowd, 
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these 

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