Watch: Black Reporter Nails Trump For Ignoring Why Athletes Protest During National Anthem
During a hastily organized press conference in the White House rose garden on Monday, reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks asked Trump to respond to players like Kaepernick who view their anthem protests as being about social injustice, not patriotism.
“What about police-involved shootings as it relates to the NFL, that is what the players are saying is the crux of why they’re taking a knee, sir — the police-involved shooting issue,” reporter April Ryan asked. “What will you do about that?”
But Trump dodged the question. Instead of addressing police brutality, he again tried to frame the protests as being about respect, and suggested the fact that some people support him means NFL players are wrong.
“It is very disrespectful to our country when they take a knee during our national anthem,” he said. “It is very disrespectful to our country when they take a knee during our national anthem, number one. Number two — the people of our country are very angry at the NFL. All you have to do is look at their ratings and look at their stadiums, you see empty seats where you never saw them before. A lot of people are very angry at it. It is highly disrespectful. They shouldn’t do it.”
Trump, has repeatedly portrayed NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as disrespecting the American flag, and by extension, the country.
But that’s not an accurate portrayal of why these athletes are taking a knee during the anthem — to protest police brutality against people of color.
Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who began the movement, explained why he was protesting in August of 2016.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Trump, who has demonstrated disrespect toward the flag while on a military base, has expressed support for white supremacists, backed keeping Confederate memorials intact, and instructed his Justice Department to restore a program that has helped to militarize police.
He has done all of this while ignoring the underlying issue motivating the players, and dismissing a reporter’s attempt to have him weigh in from his position of influence about the issue that worries millions of Americans.
Watch the video below, via Fox News: