President Donald Trump will attend Monday night’s national title game between Alabama and Georgia in Atlanta. He has been a harsh critic of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. And while it is unlikely that a player — or players — from either team will suddenly employ this form of protest before the biggest game of the season, it would present a bit of a pickle for Trump in terms of a response.
In October, Vice President Mike Pence left a San Francisco 49ers-Indianapolis Colts game after players from both teams kneeled during the anthem. Shortly after departing he tweeted, “”I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
Trump followed with his own tweet supporting Pence’s decision.
“I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen.”
The president’s public comments on the practice since then suggest he has not wavered in his feelings. So what if a few players decide to use the huge stage and Trump’s presence to follow the lead of some professional brethren?
Wouldn’t the president feel pressured to leave? How could he square away staying while his vice president left in disgust? Again, the odds of this happening are quite low.
People from both sides of the aisle can find some common ground in saying that this president is unconventional and unpredictable, so any guess is a shot in the dark. It’s a potential reality that will likely never come into existence but makes for compelling mental exercise.