Editor’s Note: Michael A. Nutter is the former Democratic mayor of Philadelphia, a CNN contributor and the David N. Dinkins Professor of Professional Practice in Urban & Public Affairs at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America, continues to show that he is a fraud and a liar. He invited the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House, a traditional visit for any championship team of a major sport. He knew full well that some of the Philadelphia Eagles players do not agree with his policies, his past statements and certainly his negative sentiments towards NFL players in general regarding protests during the National Anthem. He invited the team anyway, and, to its credit, the Philadelphia Eagles organization accepted the invitation. Clearly, that was the beginning of the charade to be hatched later by the White House.
Donald Trump says he canceled the celebration event for the following reason: “(The Eagles) disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country,” Trump said in a statement released Monday evening.
Here is where the lying begins and ends with Donald Trump – none of the Eagles took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem during last year’s regular season or playoffs. The Philadelphia Eagles almost always have the military unfurl a HUGE American flag with the team members at our home games, and sometimes an array of military jets flies over the stadium as we finish singing the National Anthem.
My heart is always pounding hard and in my throat in those moments with the Philadelphia Eagles. THAT is our team, not the team Donald Trump is trying to describe to America. Donald Trump is a narcissistic, habitual fraud and liar, plain and simple.
Meanwhile, this dust-up about a canceled celebration will pass, and Eagles fans generally do not care about what the President says and does regarding their beloved Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles are one of the oldest and most respected NFL franchises in the league. Philadelphia sports fans are known as some of the best in the world for their enthusiasm and knowledge of their home teams’ sports.
What the fans do care about is the disrespect shown to their team, to their city and for many fans, to the issues that our leading players, like Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long, are really speaking up and protesting about: racism, discrimination, police brutality, poor police and community relations and bad treatment in particular of black men. These are real issues in Philadelphia and all across America that Donald Trump has yet to acknowledge or address.
Donald Trump will tweet about anything as long as it’s not about something that disenfranchised, abused, discriminated-against and forgotten people of color care about. He can’t handle those truths, that America can’t be great until it accepts and acknowledges the many injustices and the pain America has inflicted and continues to inflict on many of its citizens and others who live here – some undocumented yet productive contributors to our society.
Donald Trump is having the time of his life on the world’s biggest stage, starring in the daily reality show that frightens many of us with its unreality, “What Are They Doing Today?” (starring Donald J. Trump as the Head Ringmaster).
President Trump, please stop the hypocrisy, please stop lying, please stop the silliness and please try to govern and not ruin the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. Please just stop.
Go Eagles, Super Bowl LII Champions!!