Analysis by Reporting San Diego
Sep 24, 2017 (San Diego) Players and owners of the National Football League (NFL) have taken to the field and locked arms, or taken a knee. Reports speak of the Steelers staying in their locker room while the anthem is playing. Why? The president of the United United States, Donald Trump picked a fight with the league and called for the league owners to fire or punish players that show any disrespect during the national anthem.
That was on Thursday during a campaign-style speech in Alabama.
With that, he declared war on the league and the players. What is also significant is that both Union and Management are united in these protests. This is about the game, the integrity of the game, and a president who is showing once again where his priorities lie. We have written on these pages that if he is not a white supremacist, his actions give aid and comfort to white supremacists. He called white supremacist fine people after Charlottesville, yet he called Colin Kaepernick a son of a bitch for exercising his rights under the First Amendment.
In that moment, the president showed his priorities and what he thinks about social justice, the constitution, and white supremacy.
Part of this was an effort by the President to capture the news cycle, which he partially succeeded in. The President knows that there are a few stories he could prefer are buried. These stories are the failure of Graham-Cassidy health care bill to advance. The last thing the president needs is another defeat in the United States Senate. Then there is the matter of a major natural disaster that has affected a United States Territory (two if we count the US Virgin Islands) and has left over 3 million United States citizens in a dire situation. That hurricane is getting some response from Federal authorities, but no mention at all from the president on his twitter feed, or even during a speech.
Did we mention that most of these citizens are not white? Yes, I will go there. There is a belief by many in the United States that Puerto Ricans are not United States citizens, they are, from the 1917 Jones Act. Also the fact that the response is not good, the island will be without electrical power for at least six months, maybe a year, and a few other issues make this an inconvenient disaster. It adds to two more and the cost of all three is likely reaching north of three quarters of a trillion dollars.
Then there is the matter of climate change predictions by scientists that are becoming fact. It is not that a single weather event is proof. It is the sequence of events, including stronger storms that matter here.
The last thing the president wants is talk of climate change. Or for that matter the failure of a campaign promise to succeed. In short, the president is acting like a petulant child and not the president of a country.
The media is starting to talk of how these Tweets and speeches are meant to distract. Yet, they continue to cover this. The media should stop feeding this, by not taking the bait.
As to the NFL, good for them. This is well beyond the paling field anymore. Now, if they really want to do this right, give Kaepernick a contract and stop black listing him.
Incidentally, the president lost this round, and this is backfiring on him. Here are some of the collected statements from league owners. You can find the rest here,