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Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

Unless the United States has contracted a case of pandemic amnesia, there should be no reason for the collective shock and awe occasioned by the attack of Donald Tinyhands on NFL and NBA players. It is amazing that anyone should be amazed that the President of the United States who has proven himself to be a liar, a bully and an inveterate hatemonger, would harangue and insult young black men who do not support the status quo.

Donald Trump is who he is and has always been who he is. What is odd is that there are politicians, media commentators and journalists and ordinary citizens who keep waiting for him to – mature – evolve – transform – or all of the above and then are shocked when he proves time and again that he will never change.

What is even more interesting is that the current shock and awe at his crude antics and attacks are treated as if President Trump has somehow crossed an invisible line of decency by attacking professional athletes. The considered opinion of many is that now he has gone too far. And that is truly amazing.

Obviously Donald Trump did not go too far when he serially and constantly insulted, demeaned and degraded the first black President of the United States by leading the so-called birther movement, calling into question the citizenship and legitimacy of President Barack Obama. And he did not go too far in refusing to ever apologize and own up to spewing a torrent of lies about President Obama for years.

Clearly did not go too far when he publicly announced that it was just fine to sexually assault women and then excused his self-described behavior as just “locker room talk” for which he has never apologized. This, despite the multiple charges of sexual assault that have been directed at him by seeming busloads of women.

And it appears that President Trump did not go too far when he hung up on the Prime Minister of Australia, insulted the leader of North Korea, the craziest head of state to be in possession of nuclear weapons, or when he pushed the President of Montenegro aside in a photo shoot, or when he tried to arm wrestle the President of France. And there is nothing that has been reported to believe that he thinks that there is any aspect of his behavior that he needs to change.

The point is that Donald Trump has been who he is for decades. It is improbable that at the age of 70 he would change, even upon his election as President of the United States. He remains the crass, obscene, self-absorbed, narcissistic and childishly cruel individual that New Yorkers have always known.

So while it is a good thing that Trump’s attacks on NBA players, NFL players and NFL owners, it is still odd that these attacks may turn out to be the tipping point in helping Americans know what we should have known all along. This country has placed an irredeemable miscreant in the White House and provided the entire world with a textbook example of why elections matter.

Hopefully we have learned our lesson.

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Unless you have been hibernating during the Winter of Trump or hiding in a cave in the event of a Trump-induced nuclear holocaust, then you are probably aware that Colin Kaepernick is on his way to being the first player banned from the National Football League for his political views. The only thing worse than the racist right wing hegemony exhibited by the NFL owners is the indolent lap dog acceptance of this travesty by far too many black Americans.
The facts are that since he assumed his status as a free agent after the 2016-2017, not one of the 32 NFL teams has even offered him a tryout, even though most football experts would agree that he is a better quarterback than all 32 of the current backup quarterbacks in the league, and more than a few would argue that he is as good as, if not better, than more than a few of the starting quarterbacks in the league.
The facts are that numerous voices in the NFL Mothership have voiced “concerns” over Mr. Kaepernick’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before games. Further, his expressions of concern, outrage and frustration at the macabre American conveyor belt that transports the corpses of black victims of police brutality across the national landscape have been considered inappropriate for the sport.
The facts are that the NFL has welcomed players who have killed people, raped women, beaten women, ingested all manner of recreational and performance enhancing drugs and paid them enormous sums of money. The facts are that NFL players have expressed their support for Donald Trump despite his history of racism, misogyny, sexual assault and xenophobia without consequence.
The fact is that Colin Kaepernick is being denied re-entry into the NFL because his political beliefs and his public support of the Black Lives Matter movement. And it is also a fact that even though 75% of the players in the NFL are black, very few players have raised a voice of concern, much less protest – Richard Sherman and Martellus Bennett are a few come to mind, but whatever happened to Odell Beckham, Jr. or Russell Wilson or Cam Newton or any number of NFL superstars who are virtually immune from sanction because of their star power?
And what happened to DeMaurice Smith and Eric Winston, the Executive Director and President of the NFL Players Association respectively? Have they been muted by the enormous sums of money that are earned by their membership or have they been neutered by the fear of the awesome power wielded by NFL owners?
And while we are at it, where is the grassroots support for Colin Kaepernick? The black fan base in the NFL is huge and has the capacity to be vocal, but except for a recent protest by Spike Lee, the sound of black silence has rolled across this country like thunder that is simply too quiet.
The reason why the Kaepernick Affair is so important is that the NFL is such an important part of American culture. The fact is that the NFL has suckled at the breast of the American taxpayer (many of whom are black) to the tune of billions of dollars in order to build their football temple stadiums and the NFL has received many more billions of dollars of revenue from American consumers (many of whom are black).
It is sad to see so little resistance from Black America when the NFL owners are acting in such obvious concert to silence black protest. It is sad to see such silence from the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Urban League and Black Lives matter. For that matter, what has happened to the voices of Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Hart, LeBron James and all the other black men and women who manage to dominate the American media for their own profit? In this age of virulent Trumpism, racism and degradation must be confronted all the time.
The NFL season begins in a little less than a month. One can only hope that Colin Kaepernick finds a roster position and one can only hope that all Black Americans – indeed all Americans – find the voice to resist this blatant injustice.

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For those Americans who believe that America has changed from its historical origins – origins that have included racially-based slavery, genocide and theft – recent news must have come as something of a disappointment. When President Obama announced that Mt. McKinley in Alaska would be renamed with its original, indigenous name, Mt. Denali, the hue and cry of opposition was at its birther worst.

First some history – the Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian have lived in the area that is known as Alaska for thousands of year. At some point the largest mountain in the northern hemisphere was named “Denali”, a word meaning “tall” in the Koyukon language. And then came the Europeans.

Then came the Russians who in their infinite wisdom and ignorance of the indigenous people named the mountain Bolshaya Gora, the Russian translation of Denali or “tall”. And then came the Americans, no stranger to ignoring indigenous people. An American gold prospector decided to name Mount Denali Mount McKinley, since he supported a presidential candidate named William McKinley. Keep in mind that the naming of Mount McKinley would be akin to naming some geographical monument “Mount Santorum” or “Mount Bernie Sanders” – presidential candidates, not even a president.

But there is more, of course. The opponents of the righteous and rightful renaming of Mount Denali are the cultural and spiritual descendants of the Europeans who came to the Western Hemisphere and destroyed the culture and civilization of the people who had lived on these lands for thousands of years.

We hear the wails and moans of the archeologists after the destruction of undeniably historic sites by ISIS in Palmyra, Syria. The question is asked, what kind of people who engage in such wanton destruction of civilization?
The answer would be the same kind of people who destroyed all significant aspects of the Aztec civilization in Tenochtitlan, now known as Mexico City. The answer would be the same kind of people who destroyed the civilization of the Cherokee, the Apache, and the Iroquois, the Sioux and so many more peoples who have either been obliterated or relegated to being sports mascots and caricatures.

The mindset of those who would oppose the renaming of Mount Denali is the same mindset which has proudly and loudly proclaimed the predominance of white western civilization over all other civilizations. There is no way to justify the creation of the United States on the bones and bodies and civilizations of indigenous peoples. And while the clock cannot be turned back, there is no reason why this country should go forward with such a backward point of view.

One can only hope that after the tide of white ethnic indignation recedes that rational thought and fairness will make themselves known in the national discourse. It does no dishonor to William McKinley or the American presidency to restore the name of Mount Denali. Indeed, the renaming of Mount Denali is an honorable act and we can hope that it precedes other honorable acts of moral reparations – such as finally dispensing with the ethnic slur that is the name of the Washington NFL team along with the names of the Cleveland and Atlanta major league baseball teams along with the numerous college “mascots” that still demean the descendants of the indigenous people of this land.

It is time to say enough. It is enough that the founders and builders of this country killed the indigenous people. It is enough that they destroyed their civilizations and ways of life. It is not too much to ask that the desecration and mockery of their culture stop.

Today.

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Like a recurring bad dream Sarah Palin just keeps coming back, showering us with torrents of stupidity – last week the pattern continued. Meanwhile Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks proved himself to be an outrageously exuberant competitor, how that made him a “thug” in the eyes of some people reveals a lot about some people. And finally, it turns out that Mike Huckabee knows that there are a lot of women out there who simply cannot control their libidos. Who knew?

The Unsinkable Sarah Palin

In an interview President Obama offers the observation that some (not all) Americans who oppose him are racially motivated. In other words some white Americans don’t like him because he is black. He also opined that some black Americans like him simply because he is black.

Knowing Barack Obama’s aversion to racial controversy, it is pretty clear that he was stating some very obvious truths. There is certainly a racial element at work in his opposition, those Confederate flags and drawings of him with a bone through his nose – along with the birther myths didn’t just spring up like mushrooms.

And the fact that over 90% of black Americans supported President Obama at the polls indicates that there is an element of perceived racial solidarity among his supporters. After all, it is hard to find too many other things upon which 90% of black Americans agree.

And then Sarah Palin comes along saying that President Obama is “playing the race card”. She actually accused the man who never whines of whining that his opposition is race-based instead of policy-based.

If Sarah Palin were to actually engage in the thought process from time to time she might actually utter a fact-based word or two. Clearly, last week was not one of those times.

Sherman’s March

Last week football fans were treated to a great NFC championship game between the San Francisco 49’ers and the Seattle Seahawks. It was an entertaining and highly competitive game that was not decided until the final seconds. And it was in those final seconds that Seattle’s star cornerback, Richard Sherman, made a great play.

And that is when the fun started.

Within two minutes of the end of the game a reporter asked Richard Sherman about the game. With adrenaline coursing through his veins at about a million miles an hour he vented, boasted and vented some more, releasing some of the energy that had propelled him to superstardom on the great stage of sports.

Later Richard Sherman apologized for going over the top. He also pointed out that the only way that most NFL players can be successful is to adopt a hyper-competitive persona on the field and that he had not had time to “flip the switch” moments after the greatest game of his career.

And then………..the Twitterverse exploded and cascades of racist insults rained down upon Richard Sherman – he was called a “thug”, a “nigger” and (unbelievably) worse. And somehow a segment of the sports world lost sight of the fact that athletes, including Richard Sherman, are human beings.

They also lost sight of the fact that he graduated second in his class in high school, graduated from Stanford University and is pursuing a Master’s degree. They also lost sight of the fact that he is a young, articulate and thoughtful man who deserves better treatment for an outburst that may have boisterous but was not mean or obscene.

But most of all, that segment of the sports world lost sight of the fact that Richard Sherman is a human being.

Ladies’ Man?

Some things cannot be made up. This past week Mike Huckabee, a possible Teapublican candidate for president in the 2016 election, opined that some American women are using government funded healthcare services in order to obtain contraceptives to control their “libidos”. (He really said this.)

It is not clear whether there is any truth to the rumor that Mike Huckabee has been deluged with inquiries from single men as to where these women with uncontrollable libidos might reside.

Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend – stay strong and be great!

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Just when you thought that we had reached the limits of crazy, some libertarian group has put downloadable software online which can allow someone to “print” the components of a gun on a 3-D printer. What could go wrong with that? Meantime, doing a reprise of his Angry Old Man routine Senator John McCain is leading the charge of the armchair warriors – again. And finally, Washington NFL team owner Dan Snyder has officially retired the “Racist Troglodyte Lifetime Award” – with apologies to all troglodytes.

Just Click and Shoot

A rightwing libertarian group, Defense Distributed, has made software available online that will permit anyone to download it for free and manufacture the components to an apparently serviceable gun employing a $1000 3D printer.

You will note the use of the word “anyone” which presumably would include terrorists, Klan members, skinheads, insane asylum escapees, gang members and Teapublicans. You will also note that this is an illustration of the gun advocates rant about the right to bear arms taken to its most insane extreme.

There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits reasonable restrictions on the so-called right to bear arms. There is certainly nothing in The Book of Common Sense that would support allowing anyone in this country to build their own untraceable, undetectable plastic firearms at home.

Yet here we are – in what appears to be the Land of the Crazy and the Home of the Stupid.

Attack of the Armchair Generals

If you have been living in a cave for the past decade you may have missed the fact that the United States has been fighting two unwinnable wars of choice – Iraq and Afghanistan – with a tremendous cost in blood and treasure. And emerging from that cave you might actually think that Senator John McCain might be making sense when he urges President Obama to take military action to bring a halt to the heinous crimes against the Syrian people that are being committed by the Syrian government.

If, however, you have not been in that hypothetical cave you know that the United States simply cannot afford to expend additional blood and treasure on a war that cannot be won – especially since no one can explain what “winning” would be. And not having been cave-bound for this past decade you might want to ask Senator McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and all the other armchair generals exactly why the United States should plunge into another bottomless and bloody quagmire.

Every time the United States acts as the policeman for the planet Americans die for a cause that cannot stand the test of time.

Krazy Kaveman of the Year

Dan Snyder is wealthy – very wealthy. He is also the owner of the Washington NFL football team. He is not, however, very smart or sensitive.

The Washington football team has been known by the horrific racist epithet “Redskins” for over 80 years and finally, the members of the District of Columbia City Council seem ready to demand that the Washington team change its name. The fact that there is any argument or discussion regarding this issue is stunning indeed.

If there was a team called the New York Niggers or the Chicago Polacks or the California Kikes there would be hell to pay. That sports teams in this country have chosen the victims of genocide to be their mascots is grotesque and an abomination and the practice should never have begun, should have ended long ago and certainly should end right now.

Dan Snyder has stated that the name of the Washington football team will “never, ever” change. And that is why he gets the Racist Troglodyte Lifetime Award with apologies to any troglodytes who are still out there, dragging their knuckles through the mud along with Dan Snyder.

Have a great weekend!

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