White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders caused a stir among the press on Monday in her comments about the ongoing feud between President Trump and the NFL anthem protesters. In a moment that CNN and others attempted to portray as Sanders suggesting that the anthem kneelers should "focus their protests on police officers on the sidelines" instead of the flag, Sanders highlighted the incoherence of the players' decision to protest the "Star-Spangled Banner" in the first place.
"I think if ... the debate is really for them about police brutality, they should probably protest the officers on the field who are protecting them instead of the American flag," Sanders said.
Pressed to clarify her point, she explained to the disingenuous press that she obviously wasn't actually urging players to protest law enforcement on the sidelines, but rather highlighting the "hypocrisy" and illogic of the anti-anthem "movement."
"No, no that's not what I'm saying," she said. "I was kind of pointing out the hypocrisy of the fact that if the goal is and the message is one of police brutality, then that doesn't seem very appropriate to protest the American flag. I'm not sure how those two things would be combined."
She also insisted that the president's criticism of the anthem kneelers was not motivated by him being "against" anyone, but rather "for" respecting the country and those who lay their lives on the line to defend it.
"This isn't about the president being against anyone," she said. "This is about the president and millions of American being for something ... [like] honoring our flag."
When she got push back about Trump's remarks slamming the "son of a b*tch" anthem protesters, Sanders turned the discussion against toward the positive motive driving his stance.
"It's always appropriate for the President of the United States to defend our flag, to defend the national anthem," and those in the military who fought to preserve our individual rights, which she stressed the administration respects. "This is about the president being for respect in our country, through symbols like the American flag, like the national anthem," she emphasized.
Despite attempts by CNN's Don Lemon and other news hosts and pundits to deny the anti-American sentiment underlying the movement, the reality is the originator of the anthem protests, Colin Kaepernick, explained quite clearly that he refused to stand for the "Star-Spangled Banner" in order to protest the country itself. Here's Kaepernick's rationale for deliberately disrespecting the anthem in his own words:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.
If the protests were really just about police brutality, refusing to stand for the anthem would make no sense, as Sanders and others have pointed out. But as Kaepernick made clear, the real statement he and his followers are making is that the country itself is not worthy of respect.
More from the Daily Wire on the anthem protests: