President Obama gave a speech in Newtown, Connecticut on Sunday night in the wake of the mass shooting that occurred there Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which killed 27 people, including 20 children. A speech that was supposed to be uplifting to viewers, it was poorly received by fans of NBC's Sunday Night Football. Viewers took to Twitter when the president’s speech cut into the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots:
Aside from this shocking racism, it is appalling to think that sports have a higher priority than listening to our president’s address on one of the worst mass school shootings in our nation’s history. In the wake of such tragedy, there are still some ignorant Americans out there that just want to see their football.
Unfortunately there were more unforgivable tweets to follow courtesy of Deadspin:
“Obama can eat shit, trying to make a speech during the football game. Unacceptable”
“Honestly, I would rather watch the football game than Obama talk about the shooting. Sorry Pres, but there's nothing you can do about it.”
“I don't want to see some nig making a speech, I want to watch the 49ers beat the patriots”
It is hard to wrap your head around how some people can be so heartless. It is no surprise that there are still strong racist sentiments in this country. But with racism aside, how can one justify bashing the president for making such an important speech? It is alarming how quickly people can dismiss such a horrific event when it does affect them directly. Believe it or not Americans, sometimes one must make (small) sacrifices. Listening to the president address the nation and the Newtown community about the tragedy that took place just days ago should trump professional football just for one night.
Bradley Patterson, author of the above-highlighted tweet, has already faced major repercussions for his actions. Patterson is a walk-on member of the Division II University of North Alabama football team. However, when his racist tweet went viral, he was soon dismissed from the team.
The Newtown killing spree that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School is one of the most tragic in our nation’s history. There has been extensive coverage on the event because of its severity. It was only appropriate that the president’s address to Newtown be televised, even if it interfered with the first quarter of a football game. As Americans try to disassociate themselves from the tragedy by getting lost in professional sports, they lose compassion. The members of the Newtown community deserve respect, so the least Americans can do is to sacrifice some time to listen to the president speak about such a crucial and pertinent issue.