A Rubai by Mirza Ashraf

وائے ناکامی کہ احساسِ زیاں جاتا رہا
wa’e nakami keh ehsas-e-ziyan jaata raha
قعرِ عصیاں میں عذابوں کا بیاں جاتا رہا
qa’r-e-‘isyan mein ‘azabon ka byan jaata raha
ایک چنگاری سے خاکستر چمن کو دیکھ کر
ek chingari se khakistar chamun ko dekh ker
عشق کی آتش میں جلنے کا فغاں جاتا رہا
‘ishq ki aatish mein jalanay ka fughan jaata raha

“Is Kneeling During National Anthem & National Flag Burning in Protest Appropriate ? “Brief Thought by F. Sheikh

Mr. Trump is master of diversion. To divert attention from his failure to achieve any legislative victory, especially to repeal Obamacare, he interjected himself in NFL by condemning Colin Kaepernick, ex quarterback of San Francisco 49ers, for kneeling during national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks. President Trump also advocated that NFL should fire any player who kneels during national anthem and people should boycott NFL games until such action is taken.

United States Supreme court has ruled that National Flag burning in protest is protected under freedom of speech. Mr. Kaepernick and others has every right to kneel during national anthem as a protest. But what does this form of protest mean? National flag and national anthem represents the country and all of us, not a specific group or a policy. The protest should be grievance specific and not targeting the whole country. National flag burning or kneeling during national anthem although not un-patriotic, but is counterproductive and sends a wrong message. This form of protest seems misplaced and comes across as if you are made against the whole country rather than against a policy or governmental agency’s behavior. If you are mad against the country itself, then what are you going to do? Move to some other country? If you are mad against certain entrenched policies or governmental behavior, then the right course is to change them by getting involved in political process outside the sports arena.

In general, sport fans love players for their excellence in games and not politics. They come to enjoy the sport and sportsmanship, and hate to see it spoiled by national divisive politics.