Donald Trump is now winning the national anthem debate without question, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
Vice President Mike Pence attended the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers game on Sunday, but promptly left after several players kneeled for the national anthem. Donald Trump later tweeted claiming that he told Pence to leave if any players disrespected the flag and our country.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2017
Stephen A. Smith discussed Pence’s move on ESPN’s “First Take” Monday morning where he said Trump has successfully hijacked the issue and is winning the national anthem argument.
“The president has successfully gone about the business of hijacking the issue,” Smith began noting that he’s turned a protest against police brutality into a debate about patriotism.
The “First Take” host then claimed that he believes Trump is doing this to get back at the NFL community that didn’t welcome him back when he tried to become an owner of a team.
“In the end what it really really comes down to is the president has successfully hijacked this issue. He’s turned it into an issue about patriotism and beyond, he’s catering to his base in the process and the biggest thing he’s doing is he’s pulling it all off hiding behind these issues when, in my opinion, his real agenda is going after an NFL community that didn’t let him in that ‘good ole boys club,’” Smith said.
“He is the one that’s winning because he’s turned this into something that the players didn’t intend to. So they’re going to have to find a different mechanism to have their voices heard, because Trump has won this round.”