Race-Baiter Donald Trump’'s War On Athletes Shouldn't Divert From Police Brutality Focus

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The S.O.B. thrives on division and chaos. Photo: Gage Skidmore

[Speaking Truth To Power]

Donald Trump's divisive comments against Black NFL players, who've followed Colin Kaepernick's lead in protesting police brutality and racism during the singing of the National Anthem, has sparked a unity of resistance among Black athletes.

Has Trump awakened a sleeping giant that will now fight him—and the White supremacy he represents?

Last Friday, during a rally in Alabama, Trump race-baited and riled up a Republican crowd saying "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 — he’s fired.'"

Inadvertently, Trump is doing us all a favor by forcing many who are usually reticent to speak out on issues related to police brutality and racism. Many are being forced off of the fence. Imagine, even Michael Jordan maybe finding his voice on these matters; and, ironically, NFL owners, players and coaches who supported Trump had little choice but to, at least outwardly, denounce his race-baiting rhetoric.

NFL owners and representatives for the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and Houston Texans all called Trump’s comments “divisive,” a sentiment also expressed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The owner of the Indiana Colts, Jim Irsay, said he was “troubled” by Trump’s rhetoric. And Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers—whose team Colin Kaepernick played on last year, before he was White-balled by the NFL—characterized Trump’s comments as “callous and offensive.”

New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady, a known Trump supporter, reluctantly said on Monday “I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive.”

Former Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan, another Trump supporter, who introduced Trump as a presidential candidate last year, voiced his displeasure with Trump’s comments. Ryan is now apparently having regrets about his support for Trump. On ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown Ryan made that clear. “I'm pissed off. I'll be honest with you. Because I supported Donald Trump,” Ryan said. “When he asked me to introduce him at a rally in Buffalo, I did that. But I'm reading these comments and it's appalling to me and I'm sure it's appalling to almost any citizen in our country. It should be. You know, calling our players SOBs and all that kind of stuff---I never signed up for that, I never wanted that."

It’s extremely interesting to hear some of these NFL folk now expressing outrage about Trump’s callous behavior—which has been constant, to anyone even remotely paying attention over this last couple years. Coach Ryan talked about how “appalled” he is by what Trump said over the weekend. Is Coach Ryan telling us he heard nothing before last weekend from Trump that was “appalling” to him?

When Trump was denigrating President Barack Obama with the Birther nonsense, wasn’t that “appalling” enough? How about when he was denigrating Megyn Kelly saying she had “blood coming from here wherever?” Or, when he talked about grabbing women “by the pussy?” Do decent people mimic and make fun of handicapped people? He did that with respect to a New York Times reporter.

Mr. Brady said Trump was “divisive” last weekend. He was. But hasn’t the Donald Trump show always been mainly about divisiveness?

Where were people like Mr. Brady when Trump was divisively attacking Mexicans and Muslims? When Trump was saying that most Mexicans here in America are “drug dealers, criminals and rapists,” where was Mr. Brady? How about when he denigrated all Muslims—including those who are in the U.S. Military—by making the spurious claim that “Islam hates us"?

That fact is: Trump is ratcheting up racist hate. Besides attacking the NFL, Trump also decided to act worse than a juvenile child by disinviting Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry from coming to the White House. The pettiness and bigoted buffoonery of this so-called president is unbelievable.

In a tweet, Trump said “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Curry, while speaking to reporters, in a dignified manner, responded by saying: “I don't know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others. I have an idea of why, but, it's just kind of beneath, I think, a leader of a country to go that route. It's not what leaders do."

Of course, Curry is correct. The problem here though is: Trump is a misleader—not a leader. If Trump was a real leader he would be marshalling resources—right now—to help the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, who were hit with a double dose of catastrophe by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. The lives of over three million people are at stake. In a moment of serious environment disaster, this race-baiter is picking fights with Black athletes.

LeBron James’s Twitter takedown of Trump was perfect. In that now infamous tweet, James called Trump a “bum” and said “going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” Former NBA player Baron Davis also called Trump “a clown” and “dumbass.”  Warriors forward Draymond Green tweeted “still wondering how this guy is running our country.”

Green’s question is the most important one. Ironically, Trump is running the country because some of these same NFL owners and personnel—just like the mainstream media—helped to legitimize this race-baiting disgrace to a significant voting segment of the American people. Coach Ryan admits he introduced Trump at a political event. Mr. Brady was a known supporter of Trump and many of these NFL owners gave Trump millions—in fact, a figure of $7.7 million is reported.

The interesting thing here of course is now that Trump has found it advantageous to attack the NFL, these owners who endorsed this racist fascist are now crying foul. Although the increased protests of the players are a net positive, let’s realize that the NFL owners and executives are uniting against Trump—and not the righteous concerns Colin Kaepernick addressed. We should remember these people have decided to keep Kaepernick out of the league. Has the NFL pondered the possibility that this was a factor in Trump’s calculation to call for the firing of those who he calls “sons of a bitches?”

These NFL owners care only about the bottom line. Until, it is in their business interests to speak against police brutality and racism, these NFL owners will not do so. We must make police brutality bad for business all around America.

NFL players must realize that ultimately they have more power than maybe even they understand. At the end of the day, people pay money to see players not owners. Since 70 percent of the NFL is Black, these players need to come together with other players and activists in the communities and make things happen.

Over the last several days, Trump and others in White America have been expressing how they dislike disrespect for the U.S. flag. What about the disrespect for Black life that is at the heart of Kaepernick’s protest? What about Trump's desecration of the office of the President of the United States? Apparently, Black people being shot down dead in the back by police officers doesn’t seem too important to these phony "patriots."

Did any of these people, who like to tell us of their love for the Second Amendment, reflect on how 12-year-old Tamir Rice was killed while playing with a toy gun? How many Trump supporters even recognize Tamir’s name?

Here is another thing: how is it that many of these same Second Amendment people now want to deprive Black people of our First Amendment rights? Isn’t that what Colin Kaepernick was exercising? How hypocritical can these folks really be?

Police brutality and murder is a deadly plague in Black America. It must be stopped. No matter what, we must continue to Speak Truth To Power.

 

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