This week's edition of The 45th newsletter.
Despite a category four hurricane devastating Puerto Rico, escalating tensions with North Korea, an Alabama Senate primary run-off and yet another Republican failure to repeal Obamacare, a war of words between President Donald Trump and US national sporting codes has saturated American media for the past five days.
Since the president’s initial tweet on Friday demanding that the National Football League (NFL) fire anyone protesting during the National Anthem, hundreds of athletes have taken the knee, stayed behind in their locker rooms, locked arms, and spoken out against Trump in media. NFL team owners have almost universally defended players who boycotted the anthem over the weekend, many issuing statements in support. Trump followed up with 12 sports-related tweets or retweets in a 36-hour period.
Anthem protests began during the 2016 preseason in the wake of several high-profile incidents in which African-Americans were killed during interactions with police officers. Miami Dolphins player Julius Thomas, who previously stood during the anthem, explained to The New York Times why he instead knelt on Sunday with three teammates: “To have the president trying to intimidate people – I wanted to send a message that I don’t condone that. I’m not OK with somebody trying to prevent someone from standing up for what they think is important."
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