Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry stands and covers his heart for the national anthem. And he thinks it’s “stupid” to do otherwise.
In a statement released to the Florida Times-Union the day after Jacksonville Jaguars players, coaches, staff, and owner coordinated a team-wide pregame protest and show of unity, Curry had this to say:
“I stand and cover my heart for the pledge and the anthem. I think it’s stupid to do otherwise. The U.S. Constitution protects the right for a lot of people to do a lot of stupid things. I am a Constitutional Conservative, so I respect the wisdom of our Founders.”
What Curry fails to mention (or even understand) is this isn’t a protest against an anthem or a song. By sidestepping what players, coaches, and owners are actually protesting — Trump’s call for NFL owners to fire players who kneel, police brutality, and unequal treatment of minorities and people of color — Curry is helping to stoke the fires of confusion.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan made it crystal clear why he went down onto the sidelines, as have numerous players, both past and present:
“We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder,” Khan said on Sunday. “That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”
Here’s hoping Curry can better understand why players and coaches aren’t responding to the national anthem the way he does.