Professor Robert C. Smith: Trump's Criticism of Anthem Protests Part of 'White-Country' Mantra

Monday, September 25, 2017
Photo of Washington NFL players locking arms, kneeling during national anthem

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- But the president’s language risked creating division in other ways, said Robert Smith, a professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University and author of Polarization and the Presidency: From FDR to Barack Obama. He pointed to Trump’s statement to a largely white audience at a campaign rally in Alabama on Friday that NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem show “total disrespect of our heritage, a total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”

“The ‘our’ appeals to the people who see this country as a ‘white country’ and it is being transformed,” Smith said. “He played on that during the campaign and got a lot of support. That’s just a part of his mantra now.”

Photo: NFL players on Washington kneel and lock arms during the performance of the national anthem on September 24, before a game against the Oakland Raiders. Photo by Keith Allison.