September 24, 2017

EVEN ALABAMANS LIKE BLACKS IF THEY PLAY FOOTBALL:

How Trump Bungled the Politics of Football (Jonathan Chait, 9/24/17, New York)

These comments had two swift effects, each disastrous for the president. First, it turned the question away from the style of the protest to the right to conduct it. The National Anthem is a potent symbol of patriotism, but so is the First Amendment to the Constitution. "No, I don't agree with [Trump], said University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh Saturday, "That's ridiculous. Check the Constitution."

Even pro-Trump coaches and owners began to issue statements attacking the president. "I'm pissed off," said Rex Ryan. "I supported Donald Trump. [These comments] are appalling to me... I never signed up for that."

Second, it turned the pregame drama into an anti-Trump protest. The pregame kneel has now become a spectacle of resistance, with dramatic gestures of white players joining black ones to oppose the crude attacks from the great orange bigot. Fans who might have complained before about politics being inserted into football -- as if the bloated displays of military might attached to the NFL were not a form of politics -- could no longer miss that Trump was now more likely than anybody else to politicize the game.

Posted by at September 24, 2017 5:49 PM

  

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