TRUMP DECLARES WAR ON AFRICAN-AMERICAN ATHLETES — DISSES CURRY, NFL, NBA, LEBRON JAMES REACTS! — Packers & Other NFL Teams Push Back Against President’s Appeals To Racism & Disrespect For Constitution!

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/politics/donald-trump-nfl-nba/index.html

Chris Cillizza writes on CNN:

“On one level, this is classic Trump. He feels as though he is being disrespected — whether by NFL players not standing for the national anthem or by Curry saying if it was up to him, the Golden State Warriors would not visit the White House. (The Warriors, in a statement Saturday afternoon, said they would come to Washington and do events to promote diversity and inclusiveness rather than meet with Trump.)
They hit him, so he hit back.
But, there’s something far more pernicious here. Both the NFL and the NBA are sports in which the vast majority of the players are black and the vast majority of owners are white. In the NFL, there are 0 black owners of the 32 teams. In the NBA, Michael Jordan is the lone black owner of a team.
Consider that in the context of what Trump said both Friday night and Saturday.
In Alabama, Trump called the players who refuse to stand for the anthem “sons of bitches” and insisted that any owner worth his or her salt should fire them immediately.
That got a lot of attention — and rightly so. But it’s what Trump said next that’s really telling. “Total disrespect of our heritage, a total disrespect of everything that we stand for,” he said — adding for emphasis: “Everything that we stand for.”
Notice the use of “our heritage” and “we” in those two sentences above.
But wait, there’s more. In both his Curry tweet and his two NFL tweets, Trump expressed frustration that these lucky athletes felt the need to be ungrateful.
Trump noted the “great honor” of going to the White House and the “privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL.” You should just be thankful for what you have and not be making any trouble, Trump is telling these players.
Here’s the thing: Even if we lived in a color-blind society, that would be a dangerous sentiment. After all, freedom of expression is right there in the First Amendment. And our brave soldiers didn’t fight and die so that everyone stood during the national anthem. They fought so people could have the right to make a choice about whether or not they wanted to stand. That’s the whole damn point of the First Amendment.
The thing is: We don’t live in a color-blind society. Slavery sits at the founding roots of America. The goal of racial equality remains a goal, not an achievement. To pretend otherwise is to willfully blind yourself to hundreds years of history.
Even more context darkens the picture for Trump. He played at racially coded language throughout his presidential campaign. He also displayed a stunningly simplistic view of the black community.
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?” Trump said of African-Americans in a speech to a largely white audience in Michigan during the campaign. When NBA star Dwyane Wade’s cousin was shot in Chicago, Trump tweeted: “Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!”” He took an inordinate amount of time to condemn former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. And so on.
As President, Trump has done little too ease concerns about his racial views — and, in fact, has heightened them. His handling of the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests — in which white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in protest of the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee — was particularly alarming.
Even as the protests turned violent — one woman was killed — Trump claimed that there were violent factions “on many sides” to be blamed. Days later, he doubled down on that false premise; “I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it,” Trump said. “And you have — you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now.”
Although his administration tried desperately to move on from his remarks, it was made clear recently that Trump meant exactly what he said. The day after meeting at the White House with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — the lone black Republican in the Senate — Trump was quick to note that he had been right in his initial comments after Charlottesville.
“I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there, you have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also, and essentially that’s what I said,” Trump told reporters.
And now, this.
I’ve long believed that Trump is simply saying whatever comes to mind, that there is no broader strategy to his comments. But it’s impossible to conclude that after Charlottesville, Trump is totally ignorant of the racial context in which his remarks on the NFL and NBA land. No one is that oblivious.
When, given all the water under the bridge — both in terms of our country’s history and the more narrow history of Trump’s campaign — you make comments about how the athletes in predominantly black pro sports leagues should just be happy with what they have and not complain, you aren’t doing it by accident. You really believe it.
Play football or basketball so we can be entertained, Trump seems to be telling these athletes. No one wants to hear your lack of gratitude for what you’ve been given.
There’s so many things wrong with that view.
First of all, no one gave these players anything. They worked for it.
Second, just because you are a professional athlete doesn’t mean you don’t get to be a citizen, too. We don’t tell accountants, for example, that they can’t express their opinions on politics and the culture more broadly, right? So why should we be in the business of telling professional athletes? And would Trump feel the same way if the majority of those protesting the anthem were white?
Trump defenders will note that Trump didn’t name names — other than Curry — when he blasted professional athletes. That “we” are adding color to it, not him.

But that doesn’t fly. As I noted above, both the NFL and NBA are majority black. And those refusing to stand during the national anthem are, with one exception, also all black.
Trump knows this. He is an avid consumer of TV and culture. Which means that he is purposely playing at and with racial animus here. That is a dark thing to do as the leader of the United States. And something he deserves to be condemned for.”

As reported in the Green Bay Press Gazette, Packer President/CEO Mark Murphy issued the following statement:

The full statement from Murphy:

“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact.

“We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”

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Trump’s racism and his condescending attitude toward minorities should come as no surprise given his campaign, his base, the GOP’s racially divisive agenda, and the folks surrounding him. It also should come as no surprise that Trump’s remarks came in Alabama, a state unable to advance beyond its disgusting racist history (except on the football field in Tuscolusa in the Fall) and move into the present.

It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow at NFL stadiums. It will also be interesting to see whether African-American athletes put their money, time, and prestige behind encouraging others to vote so that Trump will never happen again and that the GOP stranglehold on our Government and our country will be broken.

Finally, why do we sing the National Anthem at sporting events in the first place? These athletic contests are entertsinment, not expressions of patriotism. We don’t sing it before concerts, movies, plays, and other performances. It doesn’t belong at sporting events either.

It is a bizarre and sad state of affairs when the President of the Green Bay Packers has to “school” the President of the United States on the meaning of our Constitution and an appropriate tone for race relations in our country!

PWS

09-23-17

 

 

 

 

NBA SUPERSTAR STEPH CURRY JOINS LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA’S PRO IMMIGRATION CAMPAIGN!

http://www.vibe.com/2017/06/steph-ayesha-curry-lin-manuel-ham4all/

VIBE reports:

Lin-Manuel Miranda early this morning announced his latest and most important contest yet: the #Ham4All challenge in support of Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition.

“Hamilton has crisscrossed the country—New York, Chicago, San Francisco. Next stop…Los Angeles!” wrote the playwright in an open letter. “I’m thrilled to be back again with another great Hamilton experience, this time benefiting a cause that’s not only at the heart of Hamilton but particularly close to me—immigration. I’m raising money for the Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition, which is comprised of 12 amazing organizations.”

READ: Lin-Manuel Miranda To Be Inducted In The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Shortly after making the announcement, Golden State Warrior and NBA champion Stephen Curry and his wifey-in-crime Ayesha Curry entered the challenge, making a donation of their own—performing their favorite Hamilton track and throwing down the gauntlet to the next celebrity, in one fell swoop.

“We all feel strongly about supporting these important organizations fighting to protect immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who want to make a better life for themselves and their families,” the couple captioned on Instagram, urging Olivia Munn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to join the fight. “The grand prize winner will join us and Lin-Manuel at the LA opening on August 16th. We think that this will be the biggest Hamilton sweepstakes yet, but we need your help…”

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Read the complete story and get links to more information about the “Immigrants: We Get The Job Done Coalition” at the above link. Compare Miranda’s positive, upbeat message about immigration with the steady stream of fear-mongering, xenophobia, implicit racism, and, let’s face it, outright lies about migrants coming from the Trump Administration.

PWS

06-28-17

⚾️NATS EXTRA: Bryce’s Big Blast Sends Easter Crowd Home Happy — Nats Top Phils 6-4 Despite Another Bullpen Meltdown!

https://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/mp4/2017/04/17/1292986883/1492397459976/asset_1800K.mp4

The Nats and Bryce Harper were down to their last strike on Easter Sunday. Nats relievers had blown a fine pitching performance by Gio Gonzalez and turned a 3-2 lead into a 4-3 deficit.

With two men on and two out in the bottom of the 9th and a 3-2 count on Harper, the Nat’s prospects for salvaging the “rubber game” of three with the Phils looked dim. But, Phils’ reliever Joaquin Benoit grooved a fast ball and Harper teed off, sending a towering blast 421 feet over the fence in the deepest part of center field at Nats Park. It was his second homer of the day (4th of the year) and his sixth career “walk off.” Take a look at the above link.

Also, congrats to the Washington Wizards for getting their playoff run off to a good start with a  114-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks behind a personal playoff high of 32 points from star guard John Wall. 🏀

Not as good a result for the Washington Caps on Saturday night in their Stanley Cup quest. The Caps dropped a tough one in overtime to the underdog Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3. The teams move to Toronto for the next game on Monday night with the series tied 1-1.🏒

 

 

 

courtsideSPORTS ROUNDUP🏀🏈⚾️: Congrats To . . .

Patrick Ewing on being named the new head basketball coach of the Georgetown Hoyas. Ewing is one of Georgetown’s all-time greats who led them to an NCAA Championship in 1984 and went on to an NBA Hall of Fame career with the New York Knicks. Good luck Patrick! Go Hoyas! 🏀 (Full disclosure: I am an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law.)

The North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks on winning the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Championships, respectively.🏀

The Gonzaga Bulldogs and the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs for great seasons and making their respective NCAA Basketball National Championship Games. Also congrats to Mississippi State for a thrilling win over the previously undefeated and defending champion UCONN Huskies in the National Semifinals.🏀

The UCONN Huskies women’s basketball program and their coach Geno Auriemma for their amazing, record-setting 111 game winning streak, ended by Mississippi State.🏀

Tony Romo for having the smarts to retire from the NFL and move to the broadcasting booth with his mind and body still largely intact. The now-former Dallas Cowboy’s star quarterback will be absolutely dynamite in the booth. And, he probably won’t be “sacked” as many times.🏈

The Washington Nats for a stirring opening day 4-2 victory over the Miami Marlins. Go Nats!⚾️

PWS

04-05-17

 

WashPost Politics: Chris Cillizza & Sally Quinn Put Trump Into NBA Context — It’s Chris Paul Guarding Steph Curry!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/what-chris-paul-and-steph-curry-can-teach-us-about-president-trump/2017/02/05/0c9c161a-ebb2-11e6-b7e8-df81bd6c4c30_story.html?utm_term=.b3a333c3e4fb

Chris Cillizza writes in “The Monday Fix:”

“The best unified theory of Trump I’ve come across is by Sally Jenkins, the legendary Washington Post sports reporter and columnist. Here’s Sally’s explanation of Trump from a tweet last week “An old sports strategy: foul so much in the 1st 5 min of the game that the refs can’t call them all. From then on, a more physical game.”

If you think about the first 14 (or so) days of the Trump presidency through that lens, it starts to make a lot of sense.”

. . . .

But if Jenkins is right — and I suspect she is — then that outrage, those protests, those skittish Republicans will all dissipate, or diminish, as Trump’s presidency goes on. What feels like line-pushing now will seem normal sometime soon. By pushing so hard so fast, Trump is redefining what he can do and how the political establishment, and the country at large, will react.”

 

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Foul early, foul often, upset your opponent, challenge the refs, and stretch the rules to the max. We’ll see whether it works as well in politics as it does on the court.

PWS

02/06/17