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I completely agree that Trump is a master in the art of media misdirection. But it takes two to "racialize" or "patriotize." If Fox, MSNBC and CNN were calling this what it is, a simple legal question of the players' right to free speech in the workplace, instead of saying it's about racism or patriotism, it would go away. But that would not help their ratings very much.
I cannot speak politically at work. My right to free speech does not apply there and I, and every other American who works for someone else can be fired for political speech in the workplace. Ask any legal scholar. I don't like it, but I have to suck it up because those are the rules set down by my employer. Why should NFL players believe they are different?
What they are protesting is fine, but wouldn't they do more good by going to communities affected by police violence and mentoring children instead of grandstanding on Sunday football TV?
Does this need to be talked about on a national stage? Of course not. But both sides keep talking about it and both sides hope to score some political points over #takeaknee and #standfortheflag. But it's really about neither of those things.