This writer already knows that when President Barack Obama leaves office, I'm going to have to take a week off from work just to get my nerves together.
During a CNN town hall, which aired Wednesday, the president was asked his position on NFL players protesting police violence in the black community during the national anthem. And the president played it about as best as he could. He supported San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s and other protesters' right to protest, while encouraging each side to listen to the other's pain.
"Well, as I've said before, I believe that us honoring our flag and our anthem is part of what binds us together as a nation. But I also always try to remind folks that part of what makes this country special is that we respect people's rights to have a different opinion," Obama said, Sports Illustrated reports.
"The test of our fidelity to our Constitution, to freedom of speech, to our Bill of Rights, is not when it's easy, but when it's hard," he continued. "We fight sometimes so that people can do things that we disagree with. … As long as they're doing it within the law, then we can voice our opinion objecting to it, but it's also their right."
Obama also noted that the protest is not against the anthem, or America, or the military, but against racial injustice and police brutality toward the African-American community.
"I want [the protesters] to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat, and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing," Obama added. “But I also want people to think about the pain he may be expressing about somebody who's lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.”
Read more at Sports Illustrated.