Hillary Clinton takes a knee on NFL protesters

I really don’t want to make fun of Hillary Clinton.  She’s had a tough time of it lately, and must feel very disappointed.  But after reading recent statements she made over the weekend at a London literature festival, I have to ask: how stupid does she think we are?

In discussing the NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem, she said that “kneeling is a reverent position. It was to demonstrate in a peaceful way against racism and injustice in our criminal system.” She further noted it wasn’t “against our anthem or our flag.”

She can’t be serious.

It’s well understood that one stands during the playing of the national anthem to show respect. To take a knee is to intentionally do the opposite. It’s hard to see it as anything other than a sign of disrespect for the flag and the anthem, no matter what else it’s meant to signify.

Clinton didn’t stop there. She also continued to insist that President Trump’s criticism of black NFL players who kneel is a “dog whistle” to his base. It’s not enough that she makes excuses for the players, she also has to turn any criticism of their actions in a racial thing.

So once again she insults our intelligence. Most Americans think kneeling during the anthem is inappropriate.

So once again she insults our intelligence. Most Americans think kneeling during the anthem is inappropriate, and they know their belief is not about the race or ethnicity of the person doing it.

I understand that many on the left aren’t offended by what the players are doing. Some, indeed, seem to think kneeling is chic. But it’s a sad sign if Clinton’s defense has become the norm for a large portion of the political spectrum.

Imagine, say, someone dumping garbage in Arlington National Cemetery. It’s no excuse to claim it’s a peaceful protest meant to draw attention to some important issue. No matter the cause, it’s an intentional, nasty insult to tens of millions of Americans.

And it’s also a pretty poor approach to convincing your fellow citizens to see things your way, if that’s what you’re hoping to do.

The players are free to believe what they want, of course, and to fight for any cause in their spare time—and they’ve got half the year off. But while they’re wearing that uniform, and representing their team, the NFL can tell them how to act. And if the League decides they can’t hijack the game by insulting the fans just before the kickoff, then that’s the NFL’s business.

(And if the NFL decides they can hijack the game, then there’s nothing to government can do about it. Though the fans could do something about it.)

When President Trump was informed of what Hillary Clinton said, he responded that’s the kind of thinking that lost her the election. I don’t know if that’s true, but if Democrats want to defend these players the way Clinton is doing, my guess is rather than moving forward, politically speaking, they’ll be taking a knee in 2018.

Steve Kurtz is a producer for the Fox News Channel, and author of "Steve’s America (the perfect gift for people named Steve)".