Colin Kaepernick and Roger Goodell hate Donald Trump. Whose side are you on? One of the differences between political and gridiron strategy involves picking one’s opponents. In the latter, the schedule dictates; in the former, guile does. The president manipulated some of the most hated people in America to hate him. He chose his enemies wisely. They unwisely fell into his trap. Maybe next time, Trump should call out Skelator, Cobra Commander, or Moriarty. Alas, one judges those villains not dumb enough to get all of their sinister friends to publicly denounce their denouncer the way Kaepernick and Goodell did. Americans hate Colin Kaepernick because he hates America. He sports Fidel Castro t-shirts, wears socks depicting policemen as pigs, and refuses to rise for a flag so many have fallen to defend. They dislike Roger Goodell because he not only plays games, but he rigs them (with Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, and Ezekiel Elliot). When the league’s fans demand action, he goes into Hamlet mode—as in the Ray Rice case when he repeatedly changed the nature of the punishment from a two-game to a six-game to an indefinite suspension. Fans marvel that the man presiding over the decline of football as the marquee American sport gets a new contract rather than fired. So, when it’s Trump vs. Kaepernick, the commander-in-chief beats the quarterback. And when it’s the son of the New York real-estate developer vs. the son of the New York senator, the Donald beats the Dreadful. He wins even when he says “son of a b—-” in the Bible Belt. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. He is fired,’” the president said of national anthem kneelers in Alabama Friday night, adding for emphasis, “‘He’s fired.’” Some people cannot believe Trump said that. More people cannot believe Colin Kaepernick does that or that Roger Goodelll stands for that. The patriots lack the megaphone of the Trump haters, so an impression forms that the president said something outrageous, as though employers dependent upon the public’s business appear eager to hire people who hate the country their customers love. Would you shop at a supermarket where the checkout girl burned a flag before bagging your groceries? “Divisive comments like this demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Roger Goodell maintained in the wake of the president’s fiery comments. If you want to see “divisive” and a “lack of respect,” turn on an NFL game and watch men making millions refuse to stand up for two minutes during the “Star Spangled Banner.” Or, maybe, you opt not to do this. Increasingly, that ranks as the popular choice. After bleeding viewers last season, Monday Night Football shows a five-percent decline this season, Sunday Night Football registers a seven-percent dip, and regular Sunday afternoon games post double-digit drops. Look at the empty seats in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Fans repeatedly tell pollsters that on-field protests rank as the top reason why their eyes go elsewhere on Sunday. But Roger Goodell pretends this reality away and the pampered, protesting players realize that by the time they finally kill the goose, younger, healthier men take their place in line for the golden eggs. Watch their Nielsen ratings plummet. Watch his Gallup numbers rise.
Indeed.. That spot-on op/ed was written by Daniel J. Flynn.. 🙂