Monday, September 25, 2017

Response to Beyond Football Sunday

(See: Just Above Sunset: Beyond Football Sunday)

"This has nothing to do with the flag and patriotism. This is a matter of who owns whom – as personal property."

Yeah, that’s what Trump thinks, but the truth, of course, is that Trump doesn’t ever really think things through to their logical conclusion, which is that the so-called “owners” don’t own the players, they only own the teams!

The owners realize that, even if Donald Trump doesn’t, which is why tweeting this, as Trump did, is stupid:
“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. If not, you’re fired. Find something else to do.”
If he were a team owner, he might realize that he is not the one ultimately paying the star-player’s salary, that the money is coming from the fans, and that he would actually value someone he’s paying millions of dollars to, rather than think he can just fire him willy-nilly, especially if you want the other players to win games for you. It just so happens that, in this case, doing the honorable and right thing is also in the owners’ best interest, and if he knew anything about business, Trump would know this.

But, in fact, I would argue that it’s "the privilege of making millions of dollars” from his sport that probably helped prompt Colin Kaepernick to take a stand, so-to-speak, in the first place. Rather than just taking the money and running, he chose to not ignore the problems of the country that pays his salary, even if doing so costs him a million dollars here or there. 

And lest we forget, it’s not just the right to express an opinion at play here, it’s also what that opinion is about, which is that the republic for which that flag and anthem stands needs to find a way to stop allowing its peace officers to kill those they have sworn “to serve and protect” — specifically, those of racial minorities.

But is the sports venue a place to solve this problem?

My first answer would be, sure, why not!

Yeah, but by disrespecting the flag and the national anthem?

Once again, sure, why not! — even if it’s not really a very good way to do call attention to a problem, since it’s so easy to be misinterpreted as unpatriotic by people who don’t understand America, in the same way that some people overreact when protestors burn an American flag — which, by the way, is considered an okay way, under the law and the U.S. Constitution, to register your dissatisfaction with something your country is doing wrong. And, in fact, there seems to be no very good alternative way for the Kaepernickians to make their case.

But one nice thing about this whole controversy is that it’s just one more vehicle for reminding us that Barrack Obama, when confronted with this same issue — and being a much smarter president than the one we have now — handled this situation with much more understanding of the opinions of the Americans on both sides of the issue:
“I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat, and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing… but I also want people to think about the pain that he may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.”
God, I miss that guy.