Weighing in on President Trump’s ongoing war with the NFL over players kneeling for the national anthem in front of paying customers, CNN anchor Don Lemon said the president is promoting “fake patriotism.”
“This isn’t about some fake patriotism, about standing or some pageantry,” Lemon said on his show. “Real patriotism is understanding what the Constitution means for all Americans and abiding by the Constitution, not doing some false presentation that you pretend to be a patriot while other people are around you going to the concession stands, getting beer, or fights in the stands or talking to each other with their baseball caps on.”
“That is not real patriotism,” he continued. “Real patriotism is understanding that all of us are created equal and we have the choice to stand, kneel or sit, or even attend a football game if we choose to.”
While everything Lemon says is true, it is also equally true that employers have a right to set a standard for their employees to abide by, especially if the alternative alienates customers and sabotages their product. Virtually nobody in America, minus celebrities, has the privilege of using work time to engage in political activism.
Lemon goes on to confuse the issue, implying that the NFL is engaging in a dictatorship.
“What makes this country great is that we have the choice to stand or not to stand during the national anthem. This is not a dictatorship,” Lemon continued. “We don’t have to do anything in this country.”
Essentially, Lemon (quite rightly) estimates that Trump’s war with the NFL only serves to animate his base and “is going to continue on with it.”
“He cannot be a unifier. He cannot be the unifier in chief. I don’t know what it is about him that he can’t do it,” Lemon said. “It seems that this is an issue where he could actually bring the country together, bring the team and talk to team owners and players, and try to get them to come to some sort of consensus about this.”