It is "indefensible" when National Football League players refuse to stand for the National Anthem, and represents a "false narrative of police bias against black men," Rep. Pete King said in a column Saturday.
In the column, as in a tweet earlier in the morning, the New York Republican drew a comparison between those who kneel in protest of police violence to people who would make a Nazi salute on the football field.
In his tweet, King declared it "disgraceful" that the owner of the New York Jets, Christopher Johnson, would "pay fines for players who kneel for National Anthem. Encouraging a movement premised on lies vs. police. Would he support all player protests? Would he pay fines of players giving Nazi salutes or spew racism? It's time to say goodbye to Jets!"
In his column, King stated that the United States provides "more freedom and more opportunities to more people than any other country in the world. That is why so many immigrants — legal and illegal — are so desperate to live here."
"Taking a knee" is a rejection of America, he added, but is "rooted in the false narrative of police bias against black men. The glorification of common criminals like Michael Brown — who was lawfully shot dead attempting to attack and take away the gun from a police officer with an unblemished record — is a classic example of this terrible myth."
King added that police do more to save and protect black and white lives than "any other institution" in our society.
"Statistics show that police are no more likely to use force against blacks than against whites," said King. "The unfortunate reality is that there is a war against cops with increasing numbers of police officers being shot down."
The congressman further insisted that there is "nothing noble" about football players who refuse to honor the flag, as it is a "cruel insult" to those risk their lives for citizens every day.
"For those who say this is a freedom of speech issue, how many NFL owners — including the owner of the Jets! — would allow their players to make Nazi salutes on the field or make racist remarks?" said King, echoing the tweet.
Under the NFL's new rule, players who choose to protest will face fines, but will also be permitted to remain in the team's locker room rather than to come onto the field and stage a public stance.
Johnson said he would not pass on the fines to any player who chooses to protest, reports The New York Daily News.
"I plan to sit in the very near term with Coach (Todd) Bowles and our players to discuss today's decision regarding the National Anthem," he said in a statement issued Wednesday. "As I have in the past, I will support our players wherever we land as a team. Our focus is not on imposing any club rules, fines, or restrictions. Instead we will continue to work closely with our players to constructively advance social justice issues that are important to us."
King's comments follow President Donald Trump's Fox News interview Thursday, when he said that anyone who does not stand for the anthem shouldn't play ball and maybe "shouldn't be in the country."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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