Meritocracy. Collaboration. Personal achievement.
These are the ideals upon which was the United States was founded, the ideals that have made and continue to make America great. They are also the ideals that have traditionally been associated with professional sports.
How ironic, therefore, that the NFL has been overtaken by a sentiment of rejectionism against the symbol of those very values. How tragic to witness players use the freedom represented by the flag to show contempt and disdain for the country that has afforded them an opportunity for success they might never have otherwise had.
No, our country is not perfect. But the flag represents that values that allow us to strive together toward a more perfect union.
That being said, it’s not the job of the president to call for the NFL to penalize those players. It’s his job to demonstrate the responsible use of free speech by conducting himself with principled determination and disciplined self-restraint.
Our Chief Executive is responsible for passing fair and effective legislation while creating a national tone of respect and personal responsibility. Implicit in that is knowing and showing where the division between the two must be drawn.