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Trump’s NFL furor exposes his complete disregard for American workers

On Friday, Trump exacerbated the division. At a rally for Alabama Senator Luther Strange, Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.’” He added: “The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium.”

But Trump didn’t stop there. He also criticized the NFL for instituting rules to protect players against brain injuries. “Today if you hit too hard — 15 yards! Throw him out of the game!  They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.’’

And after Golden State Warriors’ point guard Stephen Curry told reporters that he wouldn’t attend the White House to meet the president, as is customary for world champion sports teams, Trump took to Twitter to disinvite Curry.  

By Saturday, the NFL’s corporatist commissioner Roger Goodell faced little choice but to rebuke Trump. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Goodell said in a statement.

Goodell’s sentiments were echoed, in many cases more explicitly, by players, coaches, owners and commentators in the NFL and NBA. By attacking the NFL over the handling of the situation, Trump forced the hands of NFL owners and their organizations. Organizations are normally inclined to stifle such demonstrations because they’re perceived as bad for business, but on Sunday they faced little choice but to band with players. Some teams abstained from entering the field at all during the national anthem. Many players knelt or raised fists. Trump made it ill-advised for the NFL to dispense with or fine anyone for such an action. To do so would’ve been a PR nightmare.

Source: Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture > Politics

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