With a new NFL season set to kick off this Thursday, the debate over the national anthem is still a hot topic for the Republicans. Carla Maloney, secretary of the Republican Committee of Beaver County, Penn., has resigned after posting on Facebook an offensive statement where she refers to NFL players that kneel during the national anthem as “baboons.”
In reference to kneeling during the national anthem, in a post last year, Maloney referred to NFL players as “ignorant Blacks” and that players from the Pittsburgh Steelers who opt to remain in the locker room during the anthem were “just as bad as the rest of the over-paid baboons”. She also posted an additionally offensive remark by saying “Let’s see how the baboons get paid when white people stop paying their salaries.”
The Beaver County Times exposed the posts last week, which were made on Facebook was under the name of Carla Belich Fueller. A Beaver County Republican Committee official confirmed to the newspaper that Maloney wrote the posts. She has since apologized for the offensive statements.
“Those that know me know that I come from a diverse family that represents modern America. I know I am a better person than this and, as I step away from these public positions. From the bottom of my heart, I again apologize for my remarks, my poor taste, and the problems they have caused.”
Maloney resigned from her post last Friday.
“The views expressed in her posts are abhorrent and have no place in reasonable public discourse,” the Republican Committee of Beaver County wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.
“We denounce these comments in the strongest terms possible.This is the latest incident in the ongoing battle between the NFL and Republican faithfuls that have publicly criticized football players for exercising their right to protest on national television during NFL games.
Colin Kapernick led the movement by being the first to kneel during the national anthem while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. His protest, beginning in the 2016-17 NFL season, was because of his views on the country’s treatment of racial minorities.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kapernick’s statements originally related to the police brutality and gun violence across the United States. Other NFL players subsequently joined in the protests during the previous two seasons.
After the 2017-2018 season, the NFL owners voted that all players on the field must stand for the anthem, and that those who don’t want to stand can wait inside the locker room until the anthem is done. The owners have agreed to let the protests continue, but will be fined if not standing during the anthem on the field.
It is expected, based on the protests shown in preseason games, that the NFL players following in Kapernick’s footsteps will continue throughout this season as well. It is also likely that Republicans, like Maloney, will oppose such unpatriotic displays. It is hopeful, however, that the racial slurs that accompany such opposition, will not permeate a country that clearly continues to show a significant racial divide.