Trump’s Bullying Backfires – NFL To Take Up Protestor’s Cause

Donald Trump epitomizes incompetence that he attempts to conceal with his big mouth; as if bloviating nonstop lies and absurdities will convince Americans he is anything other than a monumental douchebag. When the oaf in the Oval took up the cause of defining patriotism as denying other Americans their Constitutionally guaranteed rights, not only did he reveal his fascist tendencies, he pushed an American institution to declare that they would not join his tyranny against mostly African American athletes.

The fascist bully Trump was certain he could “force” the NFL to restrict its players’ constitutional rights by running his mouth and calling socially-conscious players “sons-of-bitches” and demand they be “thrown off the field.” There were even rumors that next week the NFL was convening a meeting with owners to do as Trump ordered and punish mostly African American players who are unwilling to forfeit their constitutional rights. However, the only thing Trump running his big mouth accomplished was doing precisely what Colin Kaepernick began over a year ago; use the NFL to bring attention to racial and social injustices.

Trump has been hoping to distract Americans from his corruption and incompetency by continuing to portray Americans exercising their constitutional right as being deliberately disrespectful to a song, the country, veterans, active duty soldiers and the American flag. On Friday he kept his big mouth running and addressed the issue again.

Before watching a football game, you want to see those players be proud of their country. Respect our country. Respect our flag. And respect our national anthem and we think they will. We certainly hope they will.”

Trump is a petty piece of work if he believes, and he does, that standing up when a song plays informs a person’s pride and respect for a country or a flag. If Trump wasn’t a know-nothing idiot, he would understand that this country began as a protest against his type of tyranny during a so-called ‘tea party’ in Boston Harbor in 1773. The nation’s founders and Constitution’s Framers made “freedom to protest” a guaranteed right for all Americans for all time, and like everything about America, Trump hates free expression and wants it to stop under threat of retribution. It’s why he called on the NFL to get the “sons-of-bitches” off the football field for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Loudmouth Don likely thought the NFL owners would follow the lead of Dallas Cowboys piece of shit owner and threaten to bench any player who dared exercise their constitutional right of free speech. On the same day Trump accused players taking a knee of disrespecting everything America because the displayed their pride to live in a country” that gives them freedom of speech,” the NFL made an announcement that it was not going to do what the fascist demanded.

Instead of strictly obeying the fascist Trump, the NFL has decided that it will focus on how best to use its powerful forum to do exactly what the protestors are taking a knee for; bring national attention to the racial and social injustices destroying America.

According to Reuters, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the League’s commissioner Roger Goodell:

Has a plan that he is going to present to owners about how to use our platform to both raise awareness and make progress on issues of social justice and equality in this country.”

Mr. Lockhart said that instead of “throwing the sons-of-bitches” off the field, or “forcing” mostly African American athletes to give up their 1st Amendment rights like Trump demanded, the League is joining the players’ crusading to make social change. He said there will be discussions focusing on using the NFL players and clubs “broad platforms” to actually make progress on “issues of equality, social justice, and criminal justice reform.” Lockhart said:

These are issues that are important to our clubs, issues that are important to our players, issues that are important to the communities in which we play.  That’s what we are discussing. So for everyone who has speculated over the last few days that somehow there is a proposal that is set for a vote on Tuesday or Wednesday you are speculating. Those who are reporting it as fact are reporting it incorrectly.”

The announcement by the NFL reflects the desire of the NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith according to a statement he made last week. Mr. Smith related that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants owner John Mara, chairman of the NFL’s management council, informed the players’ union that “they would respect the Constitutional Rights of our members without retribution.” Trump doesn’t get it, but that is precisely what it means to “respect America.”

The NFL announcement Friday also fulfilled one of Smith’s desires; He said:

I look forward to the day when everyone in management can unite and truly embrace and articulate what the flag stands for: ‘Liberty and justice for all’ instead of some of them just talking about standing. We look forward to continuing our talks with them on this very issue.”

Based on the NFL announcement Friday, those upcoming talks will address what the flag stands for and how to address the issues the players are protesting.

It is noteworthy that these “sit don’t stand,” or “take a knee” or “lock arms in solidarity” protests began well over a year ago and they went relatively unnoticed. There were isolated outbursts from from racists and faux patriots, but it was nothing like the “national outrage” Trump attempted to create to divert attention from his incompetence and corruption.

Trump’s big mouth changed all that and for all his insane rants, propaganda plots and lies about “disrespecting America,” what he accomplished was an announcement that the NFL commissioner has a “plan about how to use our platform to both raise awareness and make progress on issues of social justice and equality in this country.” It is precisely why Colin Kaepernick started protesting and why athletes from all over the sporting world joined the cause. Now, if the NFL follows through on its promise, the “League” will be joining the cause and it is the result of big mouth Trump’s tyrannical aspirations.

Strip Tax Exemption From Churches – Not the N.F.L.

Apparently the petulant brat in the White House is butt-hurt that he has been unable to bully the National Football League’s team owners in his fabricated outrage over athletes exercising their constitutional rights. To further rile up his base, Trump came up with some “fake news” that brings up a point of contention, and a cost of hundreds-of-millions of dollars, among many American taxpayers; churches’ tax exempt status.

After scheduling a propaganda plot with his evangelical buddy Mike Pence, Trump took to Twitter to ramp up his base’s animosity toward the N.F.L. to portray the wildly popular sports league as unpatriotic “takers.”

Trump said Congress should eliminate a law that allowed the N.F.L. central office to avoid paying taxes as a nonprofit entity. It is important to note that “only the central office” was tax exempt, like every church in America has been for far too long. The teams, players, and team owners all pay taxes and Trump knows it.

Another bit of news Trump is aware of is that the N.F.L. “voluntarilygave up its tax exemption in 2015; there is nothing Congress can do to eliminate the N.F.L.’s tax exemption they no longer have. Trump is guilty of fabricating “fake news” that he projects on every news outlet on Earth that fails to praise him as a Republican demigod.

It is important to note that the N.F.L. central office’s tax exempt status didn’t bother Trump when he was trying, and failing, to buy an N.F.L. team in 2014. As an aside, many pundits assert that Trump’s current attacks on the league are, besides a distraction from his glaring incompetence, retribution because the league didn’t accept his bid to buy the Buffalo Bills because it was considerably lower than billionaire Terry Pegula’s.

On the only media outlet that Trump has a semblance of control over, his Twitter account, he tweeted:

Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country?” Change tax law!

Ignoring the fact that the N.F.L. is not getting any “massive tax breaks,” there is more “fake news” from Trump that the 32 teams that make up the “league” are disrespecting “our anthem, flag and country.” Neither the “league” nor any one of the 32 teams are disrespecting a song, a flag or America any more than the players exercising their First Amendment rights are. The players are protesting racial injustice and they are paying taxes; something no-one knows if Trump is doing because he is too corrupt to release his tax returns. Everyone knows churches are not paying taxes.

One would support eliminating the N.F.L. central office’s tax exempt status if it still existed on one condition; first strip the tax exempt status from every church in America and do it with extreme prejudice.

According to the last time an organization “estimated” how much church tax exemption is costing American tax payers, that free welfare amounted to about $8.5 billion annually in 2013.  It is noteworthy that the $8.5 billion does not include tens-of-millions in “faith based” initiative money or the double-dipping members of the clergy enjoy on what little they claim on their personal income tax returns. Added in those number are religious organizations exemption from paying sales tax, property tax, federal, state, and local income tax, or investment taxes.

Trump’s claim the N.F.L. Is disrespecting “our country” applies “bigly” to evangelical and Catholic Church organizations. According to their namesake Jesus Christ, and  “their” almighty god’s immutable words, Christians are commanded to pay taxes as well as obey the government on pain of everlasting damnation in eternal Hellfire.

Instead, primarily evangelicals and Catholics regularly violate federal and state laws they claim don’t comport with their “religious beliefs;” even though those “deeply held beliefs” are not part nor parcel of either faith. Those groups also disrespect the United States Constitution by denying other Americans their constitutional equal rights or freedom from religious imposition. It is a monumental form of “disrespect” to other Americans and the Constitution to violate their equal rights and still take the “violated people’s” tax dollars in the form of a tax exemption.

There are many people who have asked for years; “Why are churches getting massive tax breaks while disrespecting the Constitution, other Americans’ freedoms and the secular nation the Founding Fathers provided? Change tax law!”

Trump doesn’t come up with great ideas often. For dog’s sake, he never comes up with even good ideas until now. It is an excellent idea, and time, to “change tax law.” However,  before even considering the N.F.L.’s non-existent tax issue, it is damned high time for Congress to strip tax exemption from every church in the land and save taxpayers what is certainly well over $100 billion annually.

It is possible that for some Americans churches provide a service of sorts, but they don’t deserve tax exemption for doing what their “holy books” command. School teachers, firefighters, military personnel, police officers, librarians, dog catchers and many, many other Americans pay taxes and they all actually provide crucial services to all Americans. For Trump to demand the N.F.L. lose a tax exemption it  forfeited voluntarily two years ago while not focusing on the unwarranted, and wildly expensive, church tax exemption is not only hypocritical, it is further proof that Trump is a punk-ass hypocrite looking for a reason to rile up his base and distract America from his criminal enterprise in the White House.

 

Pence’s NFL Stunt Reveals Trump’s Support of Racial Injustice

In his fight with the NFL over players protesting racial and social injustice, Trump has used his underlings to demean the “take a knee” players by accusing them of disrespecting the flag, a song, soldiers, first responders and America. What is an abomination is that all of the Trump administration knows exactly what the protests are about, and why predominately Black athletes are exercising their First Amendment rights; but they are still portraying the protestors as un-American.

Thanks to the diligence of too many Trump social media monitors, everyone and their imaginary friend knows Trump staged a propaganda scene starring his theocratic cohort Mike ‘preacher’ Pence.

Of course the objective of the propaganda piece was teaching the people what Trump expects “good and godly real Americans” to do when other Americans exercise their constitutional rights. Trump has been targeting the right of a free press and the right to peaceably assemble since his poorly attended inauguration, but now he’s made “taking a knee” to protest racial injustice a clear and present danger and an example of “bad Americans.” Of course the issue is a distraction from Trump’s incompetence, but it is also a propaganda ploy in his crusade to silence opposition to more social and racial injustice.

If any American is still befuddled at why NFL and other professional and amateur athletes are taking a knee in protest, one image should clarify any confusion. The recent image explains why Trump’s attempt to conflate protesting racial injustice with disrespect for Veterans, the military, the flag, and the song is just pure theatre and nothing else. This is why athletes and decent Americans are “taking a knee.

story image

The image, and video here, epitomizes what many decent Americans are protesting against – racial injustice. This week two 6th grade boys were scuffling on the playground when a full-grown man-cop broke up the wrestlers’ “clinch” and threw the African American boy to the ground before dragging him away. The other child, a white boy, walked away unpunished as if the man-cop never saw him. Had the Black child been a couple of years older, he risked being gunned down based on the actions of the man-cop abusing a much smaller African American child.

Sadly, this was not an isolated occurrence; it is a microcosm of what it means to be African American in America and the only reason athletes are “taking a knee.” These protests have nothing to do with disrespecting a song, a flag, or the myriad other reasons the right devised to portray being opposed to racial injustice as being a bad American. Still, Trump and Pence admitted that the “lying preacher” was dispatched to a NFL football game for the express purpose of showing the rest of the country how “good Trump  Americans” are supposed to react to protests against racial injustice; feign disgust, praise Trump, and then rush to Twitter to praise Trump some more. Pence’s statement:

“I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. At at time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem. I stand with President Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our Flag and our National Anthem.”

What that means is lying preacher Pence, as surrogate for liar-in-chief Trump, represents “good Americans” who not only oppose other Americans exercising their First Amendment rights, they consider opposition to racial injustice un-American. However, in keeping with the administration’s policy of mendacity first, Pence lied saying he left because some of the athletes “took a knee” to disrespect a flag, a song, and  ‘our soldiers.’  It is too bad preacher Pence didn’t walk on the field and accuse the “take a knee” players of being un-American to their faces and away from cameras.

This “take a knee” issue is not going away and based on Trump’s devotees it is only going to get worse as is always the case when Americans, especially people of color, protest any kind of injustice. For example, one of Trump’s BFFs Alex Jones claimed the NFL players taking a knee are really saying:

Mainstream media: you’re my God, I am bad. They’re kneeling to political correctness and hating white people. They’re kneeling to white genocide.”

That is an odd statement, particularly considering a really white Nashville recording artist and country music singer recently explained why she and her white accompanist knelt during their performance of the National Anthem.

meghan-linsey-takes-a-knee

Country singer Meghan Linsey and guitarist Tyler Cain were not “kneeling to hating white people or kneeling to white genocide.” It also was not to disrespect “our” soldiers, Trump, god almighty, police, “our” flag or the “our” National Anthem; the one she just performed at a televised NFL game. The pair of white country musicians knelt because, “It needs to be white Americans who stand up in solidarity and say this [racial injustice] isn’t right.

Another one of Trump’s paramours, evangelical freak of nature Pat Robertson, is so sure his god believes “taking a knee” is a protest against Trump that he said the mass shooting in Las Vegas was a result of disrespect for Trump and the National Anthem. Robertson said:

There is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation. They say terrible things about him. It’s in the news; it’s in other places. There is disrespect now for our national anthem, disrespect for our veterans, disrespect for the institutions of our government, disrespect for the court system.” 

 First, all the disrespect rabid Robertson blamed on NFL players “taking a knee” describes Trump and his administration. Second, it is no stretch to assert that many of the 58 country music fans killed and over 500 that were injured were likely Trump supporters and almost certainly oppose kneeling to protest racial injustice during the National Anthem. Those country music fans killed and wounded were victims of the GOP and NRA’s love affair with NRA gun money; they were not victims of professional athletes protesting racial injustice.

Trump and his nasty cohort are going to extreme lengths to portray opposition to racial injustice as un-American for a good reason; their base of support starts and ends with dirty racists opposed to justice for people of color. And it is noteworthy to mention that Trump and his racist attorney general ardently support making racial profiling a national policy; something most of the “take a knee” protestors are well aware of.

Trump claimed last week that his ranting and raving about the “take a knee” protests have nothing to do with racism even as the protestors on and off the field have made it abundantly clear they take a knee to protest racial injustice. No matter how one assesses this phony outrage and propaganda campaign against freedom of speech, it is clear that besides silencing dissent, Trump revealed his support for racial injustice and no half-baked propaganda ploy can conceal that fact.

 

Trump Administration Says No Free Speech Rights in the Workplace 

 

With a fair number of Americans’ attention focused on Trump’s attack on professional athletes, primarily African American athletes, for exercising their Constitutional right to protest police violence, they may have missed a terrifying, and telling, statement from the Trump administration. According to Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Americans do not have First Amendment rights in the workplace. The possible repercussions of this mind-numbing proclamation are nothing short of horrifying, and if any American thinks this kind of prohibition will end in professional sports, they have no clue how fascism starts or that once put in place, no employee will be safe.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was defending Trump’s assaults on professional athletes’ free speech on CNN when he explained where the administration is going with the issue and exactly what the administration thinks of the Constitution. Trump’s interpretation of the Constitution, and the First Amendment, is that “NFL players only have a right to free speech off the field.”

Apparently, after Trump’s nasty comments about American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights elicited a fair amount of outrage from decent Americans, Mnuchin had to explain where Trump intends to take this atrocity. He said:

The NFL has all different types of rules: you can’t have stickers on your helmet, you have to have your uniforms tucked in. What the president is saying — and I think the owners should meet and they should vote on a rule — this is about respect for our military, this is about respect for our first responders. This is not about Republicans or Democrats. Players have the right for free speech off the field. On the field, this is about respect for lots of people. And I don’t understand why there’s rules that when the Dallas Cowboys wanted to put stickers on their helmet out of respect for people there, they couldn’t do it, but now the NFL is saying people should be able to decide what they want to do and disrespect the United States flag.

Mnuchin is a liar; probably a requirement to serve under Trump. Because he knows, and those athletes have made it abundantly clear that “taking a knee” is protesting racial injustice; they are not disrespecting the military, first responders, Trump, any flag or any song. After Sunday’s display of solidarity and the weekend criticism against Trump’s attacks on athletes, now they are protesting against the fascist Trump.

These revelations by Mnuchin are the latest in a series of Trump’s attacks on the First Amendment and it informs that limiting free speech for private citizens is high on the Trump administration’s agenda. It has barely been two weeks since Trump’s press secretary called for CNN host Jemele Hill to be fired because she uttered a glaringly obvious truth in a “tweet;”  that Trump is a white supremacist. That alarming call for Ms. Hill’s firing proves Trump’s fascist assault on free speech is not reserved for professional athletes. Trump approves of free speech, and the First Amendment, but only when it agrees with, or praises, him.

The latest assault on the First Amendment is continuation of First attacks that began directly after Trump’s poorly attended inauguration. Eight days after that inauguration Trump acolytes Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway said that “commentators should shut their mouths,” and that they “should be fired” if they made less than positive remarks about Trump.

In April, then-chief of staff Reince Priebus said Trump is “probably going to look at arresting or stripping the citizenship” from people the administration doesn’t think should be allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights.

In May, Trump’s Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, was fascinated that Saudi Arabia prohibited its citizens’ free expression and speech and he thought it was a better policy  because it kept dissenting voices, and protestors, silent. It is where Trump wants to take America.

All of these attacks on the First  Amendment began during Trump’s campaign when he called for the arrest of Americans protesting against his candidacy. Perhaps now is the time the people blowing off warnings that Trump was going to assault the Constitution if he was allowed anywhere near the White House should apologize for being stupid.

Trump signaled throughout the campaign exactly what he thought of the First Amendment and now his administration is not only assaulting it, they are restricting where and when it can be exercised.

There are no prohibitions on First Amendment rights in the Constitution, and it is noteworthy that the Supreme Court has even ruled that burning an American flag, although an idiotic form of free expression, is protected by the First Amendment. According to Trump, and now Mnuchin, the High Court is wrong and free expression does not apply at a person’s place of employment; this is how fascism begins.

The implications of a prohibiting Americans to exercise their constitutional rights in the workplace are terrifying. The risk to employees of the fanatical religious right under this “no rights in the  workplace” idea is epic, and particularly so since religious Republicans have attempted to violate Americans’ constitutional rights of privacy and freedom from religious imposition for quite some time.

Under this fascist idea that First Amendment rights are null and void in the workplace, women refusing to sign over their medical records and reproductive history can be fired because their constitutional rights to privacy will not apply in the workplace. Public school teachers refusing to teach the Christian bible and lead evangelical-approved prayers could be summarily fired because the “speech and religious freedoms” enshrined in the First Amendment would not apply on the job.

Now the Trump administration openly says free speech is restricted in the workplace, and plenty of Republicans have attempted to restrict dissenting speech in the public square; some going so far as embracing the idea of running over protestors. This latest development is, although frightening on its face, a signal from the Trump administration that the assault on professional athletes is a prelude to the assault on the general public. Regardless how far the Trump administration plans to take this fascist idea, Americans should be appalled that Trump’s administration is saying out loud that their constitutional rights do not apply in the workplace and there is no telling how long before the restrictions apply in the public square.

Trump’s Attack On Athletes Proves He’s Not “American”

It is being manifest more every day that the current White House occupant has little-to-no clue what it means to be American. He certainly lacks even a basic understanding of America, the nation. He made that crystal clear when he demeaned the U.S. Constitution and its rules he said were “bad for the country.” Add to that stunning declaration the fact that Trump has used his ill-gotten “authority” to systematically attack every right the Constitution guarantees to every American; even African Americans. And those are rights Americans have fought, bled and died to defend and preserve since the nation’s founding. That is what it means to be “American,” supporting and defending the nation’s founding document and law of the land. It is contrary to everything Trump represents.

When Trump attacked Colin Kaepernick at a campaign rally in Alabama, he not only attacked an American citizen exercising his constitutionally-guaranteed right to freely express himself, he veritably attacked the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution’s Framers and Founding Fathers, and every American who actually defends and respects America; a nation Trump neither understands nor has any affection for.

If Trump had even a modicum of respect for, or understanding of “America,”  instead of assailing an American citizen exercising their constitutional rights, he would either shut his sphincter mouth or tout the marvels of a nation guaranteeing that all citizens are free to express themselves. Regardless if he disagrees with Mr. Kaepernick or any other athlete that just happens to be an African American, Trump swore a “so help me god” oath to defend the Constitution and the rights it provides; not doing so is the ultimate display of “disrespecting America.”

It really isn’t worth wasting precious time or words on Trump acting like a punk-ass tyrant, but he crossed a line when he defamed an African American athlete, and his mother, for exercising his constitutional rights – what Trump asserted is “disrespecting the flag and our country, America.” If Trump was American, he would know intrinsically that not standing during a song is not disrespecting America or its flag. In fact, there is nothing more “American” than protesting injustice. The Founding Fathers began “founding” America by protesting an injustice when they held the so-called Boston Tea Party.

If Trump needs a lesson in what qualifies as disrespecting America, he should consider purposely violating its Constitution, using a political office for personal profit, restricting Americans’ constitutional rights, and colluding with a hostile foreign power. Kneeling during a song doesn’t qualify as disrespecting America or its flag.

Not content to enrage his racist base by attacking Mr. Kaepernick, Trump continued attacking professional Black athletes on Friday and Saturday by demanding that private companies fire athletes that Trump thinks are showing “insufficient respect” for what he thinks is America – a song. It is the action of a petty man with tiny hands and it is also a violation of  18 U.S. Code § 227; the same U.S. Code Trump’s lying press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders violated earning an ethics complaint just last week.

18 U.S. Code § 227 says:

Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence .. an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”

It is worth noting that Trump’s attacks on a professional athlete as a “son-of-a-bitch” that should be fired is an attack on a growing number of athletes at all levels. And that includes children with a social conscience and awareness that they live under a Constitution that protects their freedom of expression; even if that “expression” doesn’t comport with Trump’s idea of America. Athletes at the high schoolcollege and even the Peewee level recognize racial and social injustice when they see it, and they recognize they live in a country with a Bill of Rights granting them the freedom to speak out against it; even if “speaking out” is kneeling during a song. They know they are the real Americans and they know it is why Trump is attacking them.

Now they understand for sure there is a racist dotard in the White House who not only opposes them exercising their constitutional right of free speech, he called them sons-of-bitches and demands they are thrown off the playing field for being “African” Americans protesting racial injustice. Trump stepped over a line and proved in broad daylight what at least half of Americans already know. He is a filthy racist; he is opposed to Americans exercising their constitutional rights; and particularly that he is not what any cognizant human being recognizes as “American.”