Trump vs. NFL is annoying, but sparks an important conversation

September 24, 2017 - 11:28am Updated: September 24, 2017 - 10:06pm

What a shame -- and of course this is all distracting us from other things.

Nonetheless, as unfortunate as this entire Trump v. the NFL / Golden State Warriors thing is, it's the perfect starting point for a conversation we all apparently need to have again, and that is one which revolves around inequality and injustice.

Trump called white nationalists, "very fine people." He's calling NFL players, many of whom contribute greatly to their communities and are protesting peacefully, "sons of bitches." My mouth was agape when I heard he'd said that. He's the bloody president of the United States. It's abhorrent.

These players kneeling aren't protesting the flag or people in the military. They're protesting the fact that a black man can't get pulled over by a cop in the USA without reasonably fearing for his life. The anthem and the flag should stand for equality and justice, but it doesn't at the moment because these incidents continue to happen. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia -- they are all still far too prevalent in society.

The Pittsburgh Penguins had an opportunity to stand with their brothers in sport the Pittsburgh Steelers today -- with brothers and sisters across the sports world, and instead opted to accept an invite from a man who has disgraced himself and the role he fills. Disappointing to say the least.

Kudos also to the group of owners who've taken a stand, both literally alongside their players in the case of the Jaguars in London -- and those, including amazingly Rob Kraft, who've issued statements decrying Trump's comments. Comments that do nothing to make America great again, and everything to divide Americans and global citizens. Kudos to those owners, but hopefully it is a lesson learned to never donate to Trump's campaign again.

To the Steelers who are outright not taking part in the anthem today and instead holding a dressing room ceremony, I commend you for coming together.

This is not anti-patriotism or anti-military, this is pro-unity. This is about being a society that respects one another. This isn't about players disrespecting a symbol -- it's about people who deserve respect not getting it.

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