The Owners and the Kneelers
The clown in the Oval Office (and I’m not talking about Professor Chuckles, who gives the President his daily national security briefings and is also our official party clown) has been sticking his tiny little doll fingers where they do not belong, this time in the world of professional sports.
When Trump decides that something that’s not his business is his business, it’s generally due to his eternal conviction that non-white people are getting away with something they shouldn't, probably involving rape and/or murder, and that is something that he, as a completely non-racist white man, must aggressively confront, even if it has nothing to do with him.
That was the impulse that led for Trump to loudly and publicly cry for the deaths of the Central Park 5 long after they were completely exonerated legally and given tens of millions of dollars as recompense for the time they spent behind bars after being wrongfully convicted. That’s also what motivated Trump to make like your Tea Party aunt and publicly proclaim that Barack Obama must be a secret Kenyan liar con man fraud thief non-American because, c’mon, have you seen his name? And his skin color? And the way he got all uppity and sassed his societal better Donald Trump at that one White House Correspondents Dinner? Surely a man with so little deference to the delicate sensibilities of Donald Trump could not be a genuine American. Therefore he must be exposed as the unAmerican traitorous fraud that Hillary Clinton made him out to be. For shame, Hillary! Why you gotta be so racist?
Trump’s surrogate Sarah Huckabee Sanders called Jemele Hill accurately referring to Trump as a “White Supremacist” as a “firable offense.” Clearly Trump and his administration are not people who think white people should have power and control over non-whites, as evidenced by her sternly and publicly suggesting, possibly illegally, that a black woman should be fired for her remarks because she and her white boss disagreed with them.
Most recently, Trump used his bully pulpit as the world’s biggest, most publicized bully to call for the firing of Colin Kaepernick and other athletes who insult his sense of morality by protesting racism by taking a knee during the National Anthem. The racial and historical overtones of Trump’s criticism are as troubling as they are impossible to ignore.
The fucked up thing is that there's undoubtedly a receptive audience for the idea that white billionaires who make a fortune exploiting the bodies of young black men are honorable job creators and titans of industry to be protected and defended, but athletes who make them millions, then suffer horrible injuries and brain damage in the process, are parasites to be attacked if they're insufficiently grateful.
In a notorious tweet, Trump wrote that “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL” then they should not be allowed to express their first amendment right to dissent or risk getting robbed of their livelihood and blacklisted from their profession.
Only a billionaire with first-hand experience exploiting the bodies of young black men as the owner of the USFL Generals would have the audacity to talk about risking almost sure-fire brain damage and horrible, lingering, permanent injuries, the kind that lead to an epidemic of depression, PTSD, painkiller addiction and suicides for the benefit of rich white billionaires as a “privilege” the Santa Clauses who run professional football give the ingrates they employ, and not something people like Kaepernick work like a motherfucker for all their lives to earn.
The NFL didn’t “give” Kaepernick shit. He earned that money. He doesn't make millions due to the excess generosity of big-hearted owners: it’s called getting market value. The men who own NFL teams are hard-nosed businessmen doing only what it takes to protect their investments. They’re the fucking parasites, not the people who make it possible for them to sit up in their skyboxes with a hand on their trophy fourth wife’s new boobs and talk about buying and selling and trading black men’s bodies with other rich, sausage-fingered white men personally offended by the notion that a black man in our society has anything to complain about if he has money and fame and prestige and status.
If Trump wants to waggle a finger at entitled man-babies who thinks the world owes them everything maybe that finger should be directed at his sons, whose achievements begin and end with beginning life inside the toxic nut sack of the toxic, racist heir to a toxic, racist real estate kingdom.
It’s Trump in a nutshell: the people whose sweat and strain and talent make an industry possible are villainized and scapegoating for having the audacity to speak out against racism and intolerance while the cigar-smoking fat cats are ridiculously re-cast as honest, honorable businessmen flummoxed by a runaway wave of anti-American extremism among entitled “thugs” of questionable patriotism.
Thankfully, for every action there is a reaction, and Trump’s clumsy attacks on free speech and free expression are getting people interested in sports who otherwise would never give it a second thought. I’ve never liked conformist rituals of creepy nationalism like the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance, and now I have more reason than ever to abstain from them. Now my only regret is that I have but two knees to kneel with.
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