Whoever says politics and sport don't mix must live in a different stratosphere from the world of realism.

That, of course, pertains to a far, far away place (than it's ever been before) that once used to be touted as the Land of Opportunity - the United States of America.

The eye of the storm, as it were, centres around a limp flag and Donald Trump whose time in the White House must be flagging pretty fast after his rant on sports people who kneel during the national anthem before American football, baseball and basketball matches.

A gesture that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started as a lone ranger in protest against racism and police brutality in the US has now become a custom. (Will some team please give Kaepernick his job back now?)


Just in case you missed it because you were caught up in the "gripping hung" general election in New Zealand, this is what triggered off an avalanche of sitting, kneeling, fist-raising and arm-linking chain reaction before NFL games.

"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'," Trump had said in Alabama last weekend before his Twitter tirade.

Like the rest of the sane world, I am also wondering what Trump was thinking when trying to emulate his role on 2004 reality TV show, The Apprentice.

Maybe it's a good thing because it may distract him long enough to ward off World War III with North Korea so we should all thank god for little mercies.

But I will crawl back into the safety of a little bubble called sport where a microcosmic existence makes it easier to decipher, if not fully comprehend, erratic human behaviour.

Yes, you still come away befuddled trying to ascertain why the Government, metaphorically speaking, keeps pouring vast sums of money into the ocean to fuel Team New Zealand's campaign or how rugby or rugby league players are delighted to be playing so-and-so this weekend but have no idea how they got off the park before the final whistle in the previous game.

Like it or not, sport is politics and quite often what transpires on the field says more about who we are then if we are transparent about whether we voted for Lawrence Yule or Anna Lorck or someone should woo Jacoby Poulain to be Labour's next Tukituki candidate.

It is off the field that we discover Wallaby fullback Israel Folau's view on the issue of same-sex marriage as Australia this month braces itself for a postal-vote referendum.

"I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions but, personally, I will not support gay marriage," said the 28-year-old fullback who is a devout Christian and engaged to Silver Ferns ace shooter Maria Tutaia.

At odds with his rugby international teammates, it seems Folau is saying his loyalty to god is paramount to making a living from the code and facing the prospect of a shrinking fan base.

Are France exploiting the sons of the late Jonah Lomu, Brayley (born in Marseille) and Dhyreille, to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup or is that sensible and where their cash-strapped mother, Nadene Lomu, sees their future?

But gripes of these nature pale in comparison to what is unfolding under an American dictatorship that demands loyalty to the Stars and Stripes flag and Star-Spangled Banner anthem.

"Sports fans should never condone players [who] do not stand proud for their national anthem or their country. NFL should change policy," Trump tweeted in employing the argument that it's disrespectful to those who fought for the US in the battlefields.

However, it seems, akin to Folau, many NFL players, their coaches and even owners have aligned themselves with the protesters amid declarations that Trump is trying to cause ructions within their ranks.

Prominent players, such as NBA basketballer LeBron James, have reportedly branded their president a "bum" and a "jerk".

Fellow NBA star Stephen Curry appears to have beaten Trump in the race to decline an invitation to the White House to celebrate the Golden State Warriors' championship victory.

It began as an African-American dissent but a few white players have joined the fray with some teams refusing to even front up for the anthem although the Oakland Raiders did abandon the stance to leave their locker room because of primetime obligations - therein lies the confirmation that TV is god.

The fuss about the flag is puzzling. I traverse two cities, Hastings and Napier, almost daily and see some houses flying flags from different countries and wonder where their loyalties lie.

One Bay resident, I'm reliably informed, flies a flag from different countries depending on his mood and even a pirate's skull and bones on occasion.

Frankly a flag is the fabric of a nation's soul. But no matter how big a Stars and Stripes, it can't hide Trump's shame and ignorance.

"We're not going to play politics. We're football players, we're football coaches. We're not participating in the anthem today," Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told SBS Sport.

Aha but you are playing politics Tomlin and it's okay because some things in life are definitely more important than playing games.

It is quite reasonable to confront a country's narcissistic leader, at war against his own people, to protect the integrity of one's mother.

And isn't it pleasing to know that sport can provide the vehicle to push an agenda through faster than sittings at senate and parliamentary level.