Sep 24 2017

Bend The Knee Day

You see, I just want to load my pickup with the AK-47 in the gun rack and the Stars and Bars decals, bumper stickers, mud flaps, truck nuts, and flags on the back with 16 cases of ‘murika’ labeled Bud and go to the game so I can watch 44 mostly Black people bang their heads against each other for money until they’re comatose. Gets my energy up for the big Cross Burning social tonight.

I don’t need any of that political crap.

Players, owners unite as Trump demands NFL ‘fire or suspend’ players or risk fan boycott
By Abby Phillip and Cindy Boren, Washington Post
September 24 at 10:04 AM

The dramatic show of defiance comes hours after Trump on Sunday morning renewed his demand that NFL owners fire or suspend players who kneel during the national anthem in protest, again urging that fans should boycott the sport to force change.

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast,” Trump wrote. “Fire or suspend!”

The tweets continue a three-day crusade by the president to pressure the league to fire players who have taken a knee to protest police violence against minorities. Trump has poured fuel on the flame of a simmering culture war and has further pushed sports deep into the political arena.

Among players, coaches and team owners, the public reaction has been sharply negative of his comments.

Even a close friend, Patriots CEO and Chairman Robert Kraft, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, issued a sharply worded statement Sunday morning that condemned his comments and supported the right of players to peacefully protest “in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

“I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday,” Kraft said. “I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities.

“Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger,” he added. “There is no greater unifier in this country than sports and, unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics.

“I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal,” Kraft continued. “Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

Patriots players have not protested during the anthem, and two of the team’s most prominent members — Coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady — also have had ties to the president.

Trump read a supportive letter from Belichick during a campaign rally and Brady, while calling Trump a good friend and golfing buddy, has stopped short of saying that he voted for the president. His wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, was more definitive, saying, “NO!” when asked by an Instagram user whether she supported Trump.

Belichick and Kraft were among Patriots players who celebrated the team’s Super Bowl victory with a visit to the White House. Brady cited family plans as the reason he stayed away. During that visit, Kraft gave Trump a Super Bowl ring.

Trump has been animated by this issue for more than a year, telling his supporters at a campaign rally in October 2016 that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first player to kneel in protest, was partly responsible for the drop in ratings.

“The NFL is way down in their ratings, two reasons, number one is this politics they’re finding is a much rougher game than football and more exciting,” Trump said. “And the other reason is Kaepernick.”

NFL teams have been accused of blacklisting Kaepernick, who is now a free agent.

Trump seemed to suddenly fixate on the issue again during a rally in Alabama on Friday night, in which he suggested that coaches should get the “son of a b—-” players off the field if they continued to kneel. The comments prompted swift backlash from players, the league and coaches, many of whom condemned Trump’s comments.

On Saturday, the president didn’t back down, however. He continued to tweet his call for the league to discipline players for showing “total disrespect” for the country.

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” Trump said on Saturday.: If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

On ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin forcefully defended Trump’s comments about NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem, saying that NFL owners should vote on new rules prohibiting the practice.

“This is about respect for the military, the first responders,” he said. Mnuchin also declined to criticize the coarse language Trump used, saying, “I think the president can use whatever language he wants to use.”

Of the players, Mnuchin said: “They have the right to have their First Amendment off the field. This is a job.”

Another White House official, Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short, said on NBC News’s “Meet the Press” that Trump is standing with the “vast majority” of Americans who believe the flag “should be respected.”

He added that Trump plans to take more action on improving race relations.

Of course he will! He’ll send Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (noted racist) and a squadron of Cops to beat and kill all the African-Americans into submission, just like they tried to do with Michael Bennett of the Seahawks. It’s ok, they’re scary because they’re Black.

As Trump Takes On Athletes, Watch Them Rise
By MICHAEL POWELL, The New York Times
SEPT. 23, 2017

(I)n the surest and most striking sign of tectonic movements, N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, as careful and conservative a leader as you’ll find in pro sports, felt compelled to call out the president on Saturday. (Trump, in an Emperor Nero complaining about the desultory quality of the gladiators moment, also lamented in Alabama that the N.F.L. had become insufficiently violent.)

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the N.F.L., our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Goodell said in a statement.

It’s not clear how this plays with Goodell’s masters in N.F.L. ownership. They donated many millions to Trump’s presidential campaign; the New England Patriots’ owner, Robert K. Kraft, showered $1 million on the inaugural and has been a vocal ally; and the Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, wrote a letter endorsing him last fall.

To summarize this exquisite collision of sports, politics and business: The 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem last season, stirring a national debate about patriotism and the treatment of blacks by the police. For that, the N.F.L. owners appear to have blackballed him from the league this year. For that, more players have taken up Kaepernick’s cause. And for that, President Trump disparaged the league and challenged the owners to fire players for exercising their right to free speech — which they have effectively done to Kaepernick already.

And now Kaepernick’s once lonely protest suddenly has many more supporters.

“They’ll be the most popular person in this country,” Trump said, “because that’s a total disrespect of our heritage, that’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”

The president’s invocation of heritage has become his favorite dog whistle; it also deeply misconstrues our traditions. I’ll recruit my departed father into this scrum. Like many young men of his generation, he volunteered to fight in World War II, and he flew missions on a B-17 bomber. Years later, when Vietnam and civil rights and labor struggles bubbled, and protesters sat out anthems and even burned flags, his view was unwavering: He had fought for an America in which citizens could speak and dissent freely and act morally.

What’s notable is how measured the athletes have tried to remain, until poked and prodded. James appeared in a video for Michael Bloomberg’s global forum. “I hope and I pray that all of you know how much all of us need you now,” he told the assembled corporate and societal leaders.

Curry has not been as explicitly political as James in recent years, but he did not sidestep the moment. President Trump said he was barring Curry from the White House, but Curry had already made a case for not going.
“By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change,” he said, “when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.”

Hear, hear! I’ll not have someone disrespecting my God given 2nd Amendment right to drive my pickup with the AK-47 in the gun rack and the Stars and Bars decals, bumper stickers, mud flaps, truck nuts, and flags on the back with 16 cases of ‘murika’ labeled Bud and go anywhere I want!

And I roll coal. Suck on that.