Mr. President: Don’t involve yourself in private business

Andrew Friel, Co-Editor in Chief

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Mr. President,

You decided to do one of the most divisive things a US leader can do: politicize one of the most popular sports in America. You stuck your nose into a private business’s policies, and news flash: that’s not your job.

I detest that people do not stand for our anthem, and as a result disrespect our troops and anyone else who has fought for our freedoms, but the fact remains that they have the freedom to do this, and is what makes this country so great. Conversely, I have the right to tell someone why I think it’s wrong to sit for the anthem. However, the President cannot just act like a standard citizen such as me, sounding off on every issue with little consequences. His words hold far more weight than the regular person or pundit.

This country was founded on many principles, and two of them were violated by the you in just a few tweets and a speech to a rousing crowd. In a few sweeping statements, you, Mr. Trump called for the violation of these players’ 1st amendment rights, and also, as the President of a mainly free market economy, you strongly suggested a private company that they need to fire employees for legally protesting during the national anthem.

Our freedom of speech as Americans is the reason many people yearn to come to America in the first place. As a beacon of freedom, we all need to be tolerant of all non-violent  forms of protest, even if we find them inappropriate or disrespectful. Freedom of speech is not limited by topic of discourse, but only by the presence of violence, and any protests that do not result in violence must be allowed.

The fact that you, Mr. Trump, must remember, is that our society thrives on allowing private businesses to choose how they conduct themselves and how their employees conduct themselves. Sometimes myself and others forget, but the NFL has complete autonomy, and may make any policies they wish to. The market will respond accordingly, but it is not the President’s job to dictate these decisions; consumers will do this themselves.

As is very clear, I am utterly appalled by the actions of the you last weekend. As a candidate who vowed to bring together the country in its time of need, you are doing the complete opposite. There was no reason to make any comments on this issue, especially when you knew full well it would deepen the division in this country.

So, I say again, Mr. President: Do your job and mind your own business.