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Donald Trump vs. NFL: A story of unnecessary roughness

Donald Trump is saying people should be fired for exercising their freedom of speech. Hillary Clinton supporters used to say the same thing about conservatives.

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The fact that Donald Trump has broken most of his campaign promises to lead a non-interventionist foreign policy is not as surprising as it is disappointing. Many if not most western politicians break their promises, but what’s still odd about Trump is that he broke promises he never needed to make in the first place. 2016, like most US elections was largely won and lost on domestic rather than foreign policy issues, disheartening as this might seem for those who realise there can be no liberty and the pursuit of happiness without life itself.

While spectator sports in the US have had a long history of occasional radicalism, specifically from black American athletes, Donald Trump’s intervention into the “Take A Knee” phenomenon in the NFL, is something new, as it represents Trump attacking an entire popular sport which is popular with many conservatives, while at the same time attacking the First Amendment to the US Constitution, that so many of his supporters rallied behind when the Democrats attempted to censor their freedom of speech during the 2016 campaign.

When it comes to black athletes making history in the US, one can point first to Jack Johnson breaking the race divide in Boxing and later to Jackie Robinson who became America’s first black professional baseball star in 1947. Even more importantly from the wider international perspective, in 1966, Muhammad Ali lost his professional boxing licence and was sentenced to five years in prison for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War.

Ali became a genuine political spokesman as well as the world’s most famous boxer, in the aftermath of his opposition to the US war on Vietnam. But far from intervening in Ali’s statements, the White House stayed clear of Ali until 1977 when he was invited by newly elected President Jimmy Carter. In other words, not until Ali’s stance against the war was vindicated by history, would mainstream Washington go near a man often called the greatest modern sportsman and the greatest boxer of all time.

A few years after Ali’s opposition to the war in Vietnam, during the 1968 Olympic Games, US track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos famously raised their fists during the playing of the US national anthem at the medal ceremony. The move was largely panned by the media at the time as un-patriotic and even ‘communist’, even though subsequently, Carlos and Smith have become iconic figures in many parts of the United States.

Throughout this period, the NFL stayed largely apolitical. Ironically, one of the most controversial things in professional American football during the 1960s was New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath’s rock and roll hairstyle and fur coats.

Times however, have changed and it is rather surreal.

At the turn of the millennium, the NFL was the most popular professional sport in the US and its appeal while apolitical was generally culturally conservative. The jokes about ‘only stupid Republican voting men’ liking sports and football in particular, were mainstays of liberal US comedians, especially those who sought to undermine masculinity and conservatism more widely.

It was during the Presidency of Barack Obama that the US Defense Department allocated millions of Dollars to promote ultra-patriotic NFL pre-game displays featuring field-sized flags, military flyovers and fireworks. This story got little attention at the time, in spite of many libertarian groups finding the displays to be a waste of money.

But in September of 2016, this changed. Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers, a radical city, but also one with a storied NFL history, decided to kneel during the playing of the national anthem prior the the start of the game. Thus, an official tug-of-war between pro-military factions and free speech activists started to take shape on the gridiron.

While Barack Obama carefully dodged the issue when asked about it in September of 2016, Donald Trump has delved into the issue stating that he would tell those who allow kneeling for the anthem: “Get that son of a bitch off the field”. It has not stopped there. A quick look at Donald Trump’s recent Tweets and it would be difficult to tell whether he is more concerned with North Korea or NFL players and owners.

While the sporting establishment in the 1960s generally turned against Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, today the NFL, including many team owners, have expressed their outrage at Trump’s statements, including many who supported him in the 2016 election.

The reasons for this vary although it might be fair to say that with Trump telling people to boycott the NFL while objectively tarnishing the NFL brand, many owners are incensed that the head of state in the US, is using his office to essentially try to run their product and brand into the ground.

But Trump is doing more than ruining the NFL brand which had already faced competition from other sporting events like MMA which tends to attract a younger audience. Trump is actually tarnishing the brand of conservatism in the United States.

The US conservative movement is often united in a love for both the military and free speech during Democratic administrations, which are seen as being poor defenders of both the military and free speech.

But when a Republican and self-defined conservative is in charge, the conservative movement in America almost always divides itself between libertarians who value free speech and are often anti-war, versus pro-military conservatives who are happy to make flag burning a criminal offence.

When Donald Trump ran, he picked up on many libertarian themes including an anti-war message and a war on so-called ‘political correctness’ which is a war on censorship. Now though, he has chosen sides and it is not the libertarian side.

If Trump were a businessman, his statements about the NFL would be perfectly legitimate. He might even want to start a rival TFL (Trump Football League) where flags would wave high and mightily throughout the stadium during every game. This would be his right and people could vote with their pockets.

But as the President, he has used his shrewd marketing techniques to divide the country and also to divide his own conservative base. The NFL which was once as American as apple pie but without the politics, now stands for being ‘anti-military’ according to many non-libertarian Trump supporters.

Trump is in danger of forcing people to decide on their favourite sport plus free speech on one side and Trump plus the military on the other. The only caveat is that the NFL isn’t threatening the US military and nor are NFL players who take a knee. The US military is doing just fine, it is free speech that is in trouble.

In the longer term, many might realise that they cherish their free speech and their favourite game and don’t want to be lumped into a box by the President who is frankly acting like a good businessman, but a totally off the wall leader on the subject.

The Democrats and the terrorists of Antifa have attacked free speech from one side, now Trump is attacking it from another. The difference is that while Antifa and the Democrats offer nothing to conservative America, the NFL does and has done for decades. The First Amendment has offered a great deal to conservative America for far longer and in a much more meaningful way.

Voices of consistency are important and thus far, Ron Paul is once again consistently on the side of free speech whether it promotes the so-called left or the so-called right.

Before dismissing this, one has to remember that Ron Paul made being an anti-war conservative great again, something which helped pave the way for the popularity of Trump among conservatives long alienated by the big-war/big-government Republican party.

The fact is that, no one should be fired for using their peaceful right to free speech. This is true for those posting anti-Hillary memes and it is true for football players who take a knee.

Today, libertarians like Paul may well be paving the way for an anti-Trump backlash of conservatives who realise that if free speech shouldn’t get people “fired” for posting anti-Hillary memes, then it also shouldn’t get people fired for kneeling during the national anthem.

In attacking something as quintessentially American as football as well as attacking free speech, Donald Trump is of course exercising his own free speech, but much like no football game is complete without a penalty flag, Trump is guilty of unnecessary roughness, which is not a crime, but which is certainly a blunder.

When it comes to the First Amendment, every team needs a good defense.

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Luc Hellen
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Luc Hellen

?What do we think? That’s easy. You’re out to lunch … and factually mistaken*. “Violating the constitution?” Heheh. Let’s understand one thing right off the bat. Unlike ‘regular’ private businesses, the NFL has been receiving tax reprieve (I.e a free ride on the tax payer’s back) since the 40s, and getting taxpayers to pay for their football stadiums since the 90s. We’re talking about billions in taxpayer-funded corporate welfare for the NFL, which is why we’ve seen the Senate get involved in NFL business many times over the decades That said, Trump did not call for oversight or any other… Read more »

Le Ruse
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Le Ruse

Humm.. Luc.. It’s very simple ?? Any proud white American boycott the NFL & it would be enough to put them really on their knees ??
No more money or shekels going to the piece of shit ??. Let them play NFL in the little shitty..country & the BLM put their asses on the seats in the stadium ??

bluewater
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bluewater

MANCOTT THE NFL! http://tomatobubble.com/nfl_mancott.html As for the libtarded whining about Trumpstein’s “divisiveness,” it is important to note that these childishly provocative anthem-protests began in 2016 as a direct consequence of the relentless,multi-year incitement against innocent police officers by Mr. & Mr. Obongo and the rest of the usual suspects above and below them. The meaning of the circus has since morphed into a protest of “racism” ™ in general. A bit of essential chronology is called for here: One can only imagine how many fatherless Black kids these notoriously promiscuous multi-millionaire morons have sired and abandoned. They are also notorious… Read more »

ColinNZ
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ColinNZ

I think it’s a well balanced article, raising and analysing some fundamental points. I think some of the other comments here are distracted by the detail (eg NFL works), rather than the higher level principle.

seby
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seby

The dotard emperor is giving his thumbs down, while the people give theirs.

This is no different from the “bread and circuses” of a dying empire. A engineered distraction from the rot and corruption.

PhoebeDHarry
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PhoebeDHarry

Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
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Seán Murphy
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Seán Murphy

Why call it football, when the ball is rarely actually kicked?

Constantine
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Constantine

A very reasonable question.

bluewater
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bluewater

comment image

Don’t Feel Sorry For American Blacks

To destroy Western society, the Illuminati (Communist) strategy is to identify fissures and then to widen them. This is what “victimhood” and championing “minorities” is all about. But as Lanny Goodman points out, American blacks are among the most privileged and organized minorities in America and don’t require special consideration.

https://www.henrymakow.com/

bluewater
Guest
bluewater

ALL PLANNED

This NFL dispute is bringing the Masonic Jewish war against America out in the open

https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2017/09/27/black-man-agrees-with-president-trump-on-sob-nfl-players/

Black man agrees with Trump
RAY LEWIS A THUG
OJ SIMPSON A THUG
Many THUGS work in the NFL and if it was not for the MASONIC OWNERS and LAWYERS..they would be in JAIL!!!!..but THEY EXPLOIT THEM and they have no IDEA of this

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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