The entire point of a protest is to make people uncomfortable. It is also something that is done in public.
Apparently, this needs to be explained to Trump supporters, including well-known advisor Kellyanne Conway. After Trump once again mocked NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem to start this weekend’s preseason games, Conway told Trump’s favorite news network Fox News that NFL players and other high-profile athletes who want to protest should stay home.
“The president made very clear that he believes it’s not a big ask to have people stand for the flag during the national anthem at football games and elsewhere,” Conway said. “If these professional athletes want to go back into their communities or anywhere that they want, where they have considerable platforms and, in most cases, then they should go and make their voices heard there.”
Never mind that athletes have in fact done just that. From Colin Kaepernick, to Malcolm Jenkins, to LeBron James, many have been at the forefront of pushing for change and making their opposition to police brutality known in their communities.
During his Hall of Fame Induction last weekend, Randy Moss even wore a tie with the names of 13 Black people killed by police etched into it and proudly spoke out about the subject.
“What I wanted to be able to express with my tie is to let these families know that they’re not alone. I’m not here voicing; but by these names on my tie, at a big platform — it’s the Pro Football Hall of Fame — there’s a lot of stuff going on in our country,” Moss told the NFL Network. “I just wanted to let these family members know that they’re not alone.”
His tie also led to racist backlash from fans who wanted him to “stick to playing football.” As for the protests, four Jacksonville Jaguars stayed in the locker room on Thursday night prior to their game against New Orleans and Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch did the same prior to the Raiders game against the Detroit Lions on Friday. Others such as Jenkins and Miami’s Robert Quinn raised a Black Power fist in the air during the anthem, while others knelt.
The protests, which first began when Kaepernick sat out the anthem in 2016, are of police brutality and racial injustice, despite Trump’s claim that the players don’t know what they’re protesting. On Sunday, Conway falsely that Trump is actually helping the Black community.
“We have to look at President Trump’s record with respect to men and woman of color,” Conway said. “The record-low unemployment rate among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and others is remarkable.”
That record low unemployment rate, like numerous other “achievements” the Trump administration touts, actually began under President Barack Obama. However, Trump famously fought for the death penalty for the falsely accused Central Park Five in 1989.
As recently as 2016, Trump still insisted that the exonerated men were guilty of the crime despite all evidence to the contrary. Things like this are what athletes are protesting.