Never one to back down from any issue in the past, at all, Mike Leach has publicly tackled the most polarizing issue facing the country in the here and now.
At a campaign rally in Alabama earlier this past week, the President Donald Trump let loose on those NFL players who have decided to use the National Anthem as a vehicle for protesting social injustice. In essence, Trump called for those who participate in the demonstrations to be summarily dismissed.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!’” Trump was quoted as saying. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’”
The NFL responded en masse over the weekend, with dozens upon dozens of players — and owners and coaches — taking part in protests further fueled by the POTUS’ fiery rhetoric. In that aftermath, college football coaches, who don’t have to deal with the issue as most teams are in the locker room when the anthem is played, were asked about the situation. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh labeled Trump’s comments ‘ridiculous’ while advising him to “check the Constitution,” while Alabama’s Nick Saban described it as “a little painful” to see what “were unifying events (the pregame anthem)” when he grew up not being so much right now. “But I also respect everyone’s rights not to be censored in terms of the way they express their beliefs,” Saban added.
And then there’s Leach.
The Washington State head coach, who was a supporter of Trump’s presidential campaign, was asked if he had addressed the NFL protests with his team. Showing once again he has no interest in biting his tongue, Leach stated that he’s not entirely clear what’s being protested, intimating that the protests during the anthem are the wrong place and wrong time for the point the players are attempting to make. Even as Leach doesn’t know or understand what that point is.
“First of all, we’re in the locker room during the anthem, we’re together as a team,” Leach said according to the Seattle Times. “To me it’s not real clear what’s being protested – I haven’t heard a clear articulation of what’s protested or objected to. Me personally I’m proud of this country and would stand for the anthem and respect the flag. But with that said, I don’t know exactly what they’re objecting to.”
“But with that said, I don’t know exactly what they’re objecting to.”