Donald Trump’s characterization of professional athletes as S.O. B.s for kneeling and praying for justice for all during the playing of the national anthem at sporting events is indefensible and reprehensible. The President’s comments were disrespectful and they encouraged and incited divisiveness.
It is almost inconceivable that the elected leader of a democracy sought to denigrate citizens for peacefully exercising their constitutional right to free speech, by referring to the athletes’ parents as “bitches.” It is equally unimaginable that thoughtful Americans would cheer the President as he shamelessly insulted private productive citizens.
Unfortunately, that is what happened. Some members in the crowd cheered heartily in response to the President’s lewd characterization of athletes and their parents. Two frightening and tragic images came to mind as I listened to the crowd erupt in cheers.
First, I thought of what it must have been like during the age of the gladiators – mad crowds cheering wildly to encourage atrocities against other people. And more recently, angry, unruly mobs frenzied about witnessing public executions.
Shame on Donald Trump, one of the most influential people in the world, for abusing the power of his office to bully everyday citizens, and to inspire disunity among Americans -the people he is supposed to represent. In Alabama, Mr. Trump did not behave presidentially! He showed no concern for the common good.