Donald Trump Stared The NFL Directly In The Eye, And The NFL Blinked

One of the very best things about growing older (I turn 40 this month holy shit OMG OMG) is that one gains a bit of perspective.

When I was a child, the NFL was my obsession. I was a diehard Raiders fan, for no other reason than the Raiders were a particularly good team in the mid-80’s and Columbus, Ohio didn’t have an pro squad. I lived and died with each win and loss. I played John Madden and Joe Montana Football on the Sega Genesis with my best friend every day. I wore Raiders hats and Marcus Allen jerseys.

Of course, I then proceeded to grow up and stop worrying about the exploits of grown men who don’t know me, and I began to understand professional sports for what they are: entertainment. I still enjoy watching sports, but I view them the same way that many people view going to the movies—a nice way to kill a couple of hours with a healthy dose of escapism. It drives my friends and family crazy when they ask me who I’m rooting for and I say, “Nobody. I just like watching the games.”

It goes without saying that there are tens of millions of people who feel completely differently about professional sports, and, in particular, the National Football League. The NFL has dispatched all other pro sports with relative ease, thanks in no small part to fantasy games and betting, but also due to the physical nature of the game. Joe Sixpack feels a connection to NFL players—they work hard, just like he does. They go home dirty, bruised and bleeding, just like he does. And they love America, just like he does.

Whoops. Scratch that last bit.

When Colin Kaepernick, backup quarterback and the adopted son of two white parents, decided to protest police brutality against minorities by kneeling for the national anthem last season, I called him a troll. While statistics and data can always be cherry-picked to suit the needs of the editorialist, there is, at the very least, significant doubt about the validity of his point. Of course, the people who support #blacklivesmatter are nearly entirely the very same people who are saying that only police should have guns. I don’t get it either.

However, when a rather significant number of players began to join in the now-unemployed Kaepernick’s protest (which just proves that he’s unemployed because he’s a poor quarterback, and for no other reason), Donald Trump just couldn’t help himself—he had to comment.

Now, I have several personal doubts about Mr. Trump’s dedication and love for the flag of our nation. As many have pointed out, he made every effort to avoid military service in his youth, and I personally believe that his “America First” and “Make America Great Again” slogans were carefully and skillfully crafted to tap into an undervalued flyover country base. To his credit, however, he has followed through on some (not all) of the promises made in his campaign to restore American pride and dignity.

And with mounting pressure regarding the Mueller investigation (which, TBH, I don’t see the big deal about Russian influence, but that’s another topic for another time), Trump again demonstrated his skill of deflecting and distracting by doubling down on his anti-NFL rhetoric. I know this because the Google tells me so.

I wonder how many journalists have ever actually played blackjack? Regardless, Trump did the thing he does that makes Democrats so angry—he outsmarted them. He remembered the reason Americans voted for him in the first place, that he promised to put America First. And what better (and easier) way to demonstrate his love for the country than to shine a spotlight on “spoiled millionaires?” He didn’t back down, like any other politician would under such media pressure—he reveled in it. He continued to apply pressure to team owners through backchannels. He tweeted about it constantly. In other words, he acted just like Donald Trump.

Foolishly, the liberal media forgot that just because the NFL exists in New York, Boston, and Washington D.C., that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t also exist in Cincinnati, Dallas, and Nashville. They forgot that #blacklivesmatter, coastal elites, and college campus SJW never cared about the NFL in the first place—Trump supporters and Republicans do. And while no amount of virtue signalling can make a Women’s Studies major at Columbia care about football, it sure as hell can turn off a Green Bay Packers fan.

So guess what? As the protests increased, the ratings tanked. Even a cross promotion with the new Star Wars film (Stormtroopers marched onto the field, with conspicuously absent blaster rifles) and premiering The Last Jedi‘s latest trailer couldn’t prevent last night’s Monday Night Football game from reaching a new low in viewership.

It’s no wonder, then, teams started virtue signalling in the other direction last weekend. The Dolphins mandated that players either stand for the anthem or stay in the tunnel. The Cowboys’ owner, Jerry Jones, said that any player who sits or kneels for the anthem will be benched—literally a week after physically taking place in a protest with his team in Arizona.

And Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the league, sent this statement to all 32 teams:

To: Chief Executives/ Club Presidents
From: Commissioner Goodell
Date: October 10, 2017
Re: Fall Meeting/National Anthem

We live in a country that can feel very divided. Sports, and especially the NFL, brings people together and lets them set aside those divisions, at least for a few hours. The current dispute over the National Anthem is threatening to erode the unifying power of our game, and is now dividing us, and our players, from many fans across the country.

I’m very proud of our players and owners who have done the hard work over the past year to listen, understand and attempt to address the underlying issues within their communities. At our September committee meetings, we heard directly from several players about why these issues are so important to them and how we can support their work. And last week, we met with the leadership of the NFLPA and more players to advance the dialogue.

Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem. It is an important moment in our game. We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us. We also care deeply about our players and respect their opinions and concerns about critical social issues. The controversy over the Anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues. We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.

Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting. This would include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues, and that will help to promote positive change in our country. We want to ensure that any work at the League level is consistent with the work that each club is doing in its own community, and that we dedicate a platform that can enable these initiatives to succeed. Additionally, we will continue the unprecedented dialogue with our players.

I expect and look forward to a full and open discussion of these issues when we meet next week in New York. Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country. The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified. In that spirit, let’s resolve that next week we will meet this challenge in a unified and positive way.

Checkmate. Trump wins. And in doing so, he empowered the same segment of his base that he managed to electrify so potently during the election season—the forgotten, largely lower middle-class, caucasian flyover state resident.

It stands to reason that Trump, the reality star, understands reality television much, much better than the NFL ever did. And it’s for this reason that Trump, despite poor approval ratings and one manufactured scandal after another, is likely to help Republicans continue to maintain a stranglehold on congress in 2018. Republican candidates would be wise to run toward him, rather than away. He continues to prove that he (or at least his campaign) understands the middle part of this country far, far better than the opposition does.

98 Replies to “Donald Trump Stared The NFL Directly In The Eye, And The NFL Blinked”

  1. Luke

    Apropos of your comments about Black Lives Matter, I’d love to sit down and have a conversation with you sometime. Getting into the specifics in this forum would take far more time and concentration than I can offer right now. The short story is that, demographically, you and I are probably a lot alike. The big difference is that about a year ago I moved into an area of a very prosperous and politically liberal city that is predominantly minority and quite economically depressed.

    My eyes have been opened to things I still can’t believe. It’s been tough to go through, but changing my perspective on these issues has drastically changed my opinions. One of the difficult things about approaching 40 is that our views start hardening, either through experience or through the privilege that comes with age and accomplishment. There are a lot of people lives that are very, very different than our own.

    I’d love to share if you’re ever around my way. You have my email!

    Reply
      • Doug

        I think it may not really exist. I am not sure prosperous is congruent with economically depressed. In my experience predominantly minority, economically depressed and liberal seem to always go together. In fact I find that all three are hallmarks of implementing liberalism (socialism/communism/progressivism).

        Reply
        • Kevin Jaeger

          I guess we’re supposed to imagine those poor minorities suffering under the oppression of virulently racist, prosperous liberals. Do the 3 blacks in Portland suffer?

          Or is it those poor Somalis being oppressed in racist Minneapolis? Who knows?

          I am kind of curious who the prosperous, racist liberals are.

          Reply
  2. Rod Jones

    It is true that he understands reality television better than most. He does not understand how to govern. Billionaire Thomas Barrack Jr., who has been friends with Trump for 30 years says he is shocked and stunned by Trumps rhetoric. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/354858-longtime-trump-friend-shocked-and-stunned-by-presidents

    Fox News host Neil Cavuto late Tuesday slammed President Trump over his feud with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and questioned the president’s “erratic behavior.” Cavuto spoke directly to the president, telling him he is alienating senators whose support he needs to pass his tax-reform plan. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/354857-fox-news-host-to-trump-youre-running-out-of-friends

    How you, a seemingly intelligent man can continue to support a unread, impulsive, reality show host who is doing everything he can to dismantle the first amendment, start trade wars, and portray the US as a unreliable partner who breaks agreements…..is almost beyond belief.

    Reply
  3. John

    Simply because of now-widespread public attention, you have touched an important subject. I don’t disagree with Bark’s analysis of the negotiation dynamic being leveraged successfully by Trump; NFL financial interests balanced on a soft foundation of public image.

    I would be interested in a followup report on the meeting with Luke if it can take place! Or, if that cannot happen we could open some doors to key NFL players for their perspective add-ins for Bark.

    Reply
  4. jz78817

    “Checkmate. Trump wins.”

    he won a stupid, pointless battle to appeal to people who think “patriotism” is nothing more than relentless flag waving and chanting “USA! USA!”

    this is all bread and circuses.

    “He continues to prove that he (or at least his campaign) understands the middle part of this country far, far better than the opposition does.”

    he understands how to get people to vote for him. Don’t assume that means he actually gives a shit about them.

    “To his credit, however, he has followed through on some (not all) of the promises made in his campaign to restore American pride and dignity.”

    ??

    by being an undignified, immature ass?

    I think I get why some people still are in Trump’s corner. They see the way he acts and think to themselves “if I was president, that’s how I would be. Bully people, make them kiss my butt, and get rid of them if they make me mad.”

    Reply
    • Bark M Post author

      Of course you think it’s pointless. Here’s a hint——it wasn’t. Not by a long shot. It was a measure of the nation’s tolerance for social justice issues and identity politics.

      Reply
      • Zykotec

        Totally true. Because being a president is all about not being ‘voted off the island’. There are literally no other important things a president has to do. Nothing. It has really come to this.
        This is the greatest presidency ever, no one has ever even come close.

        Reply
        • Bark M Post author

          The hollywood liberals created the monster, and now they have to deal with it. It’s a bit deliciously ironic.

          Reply
          • Zykotec

            I’m tempted to agree with you on that tbh.
            hat doesn’t mean you should keep supporting it. At least you acknowledge it is a monster.
            I’m still not quite sure how you (the US, not you Bark) managed to split the parties the way you did. it’s gone far beyond stupid now.
            What you have now is a bunch of spoiled rich privilieged ‘Nazis’ (because they are ‘socialist’) fighting for the ‘weak’ on one side, and a bunch of poor working class ‘Nazis’ (because they are ‘racist’) fighting to protect the rich on the other side…
            It’s become a real nasty catch 22 situation where you can’t be allowed to criticize one thing without being accused of supporting another thing. Like you mentioned how you can’t both have decent gun control and police who are not racist. I can’t both argue for helping war refugees without wanting sharia law in Europe etc.

          • jz78817

            “It’s become a real nasty catch 22 situation where you can’t be allowed to criticize one thing without being accused of supporting another thing.”

            this is the worst thing about society today. If I criticize Donald Trump, then that must mean I love Hillary.

            don’t make me puke. I really wish she would go the fuck away.

          • DeadWeight

            I’m amazed (in a very bad way) by Trump loyalists for many reasons, but I’m perplexed by those with young children especially, who can tell their children, in alleged good faith, that Trump (the narcissist, the bully, the “pussy grabber,” the absolute lying fuck-face con artist snake oil salesman, the unscrupulous, totally’devoid’of’any’ethics’whatsoever, piece of dog excrement) is the President of the United States and is a righteous leader.

            I realize that the standard for politicians, and even presidents, is fairly low, on the ethos-meter, but Trump is a modern day Caligula by standards of relativlity, like a fetid urinal cake.

          • CJinSD

            DW, how did you feel about having a rapist in the white house for eight years, or about his wife having a realistic shot at bringing Little Rock’s violent crime syndicate back into power? Were the Clintons righteous? I find it hard to believe that people can be brainwashed into supporting stooges who grant nuclear weapons to North Korea and Iran, but all of our imaginations have limits.

      • Ken

        “It was a measure of the nation’s tolerance for social justice issues and identity politics.”

        Maybe, but perhaps it was more a measure of the politics of the average NFL consumer’s tolerance for social issues in football, rather than the nation as a whole. I’d venture to gather that most fans were put out either by the fact that their entertainment (and escape) was now political, or they genuinely did disagree with the blacklivesmatter movement.

        Regardless of the reason the result is the same, lack of viewership. The NFL loves to pander for profit. (Remember pink October that barely sent money to cancer research?) The NFL incorrectly believed that all the “backlash” against Trump was from actual football watchers. As soon as they realized it wasn’t they rescinded.

        Whether Trump “won” is debatable. He did outsmart the NFL and expertly tapped into his base, which are likely a lot of NFL watchers. Kudos there. But, in the end, should the President really be instigating these types of issues, on twitter? And should sports entertainment really be this political?

        Reply
        • Bark M Post author

          For all intents and purposes, the NFL IS America. It’s a good cross-section of blue and white collar folk from across every region of the country. I’d love to see a study on what percentage of NFL viewers vote—I’d guess it’s significantly higher than the national average.

          And Trump threw fuel on the fire, no question, but Kaepernick started it—and he hates Hillary and Trump equally, as he’s stated before.

          Reply
    • TAFKADG

      Translation from shitlib speak; “He’s punching me back! That’s not fair!”

      Speaking as a deplorable rube from The Flyover, you’re not completely off base. After a succession of cucks like Bush, Dole, Bush, McBrainTumor, Romney & Ryan, it’s wonderful to have someone who actually fights back against the left. If this is “not giving a shit about us”, it’s still waaaay better than what I’m used to.

      Reply
      • jz78817

        y’know, there’s at least one critical difference between the owners of this site and you.

        no matter how much (or how ardently) someone disagrees with Jack and Mark, they can respond with a considered rebuttal and not just spittle-laced namecalling like you. I took Mark’s reply as something to think about. I take your reply as something to line a bird cage with.

        Reply
  5. Ronnie Schreiber

    I think what we’re watching is the “new left” of the 1960s finish their Gramscian march through the institutions. They’ve indoctrinated a wide swath of Americans into thinking that America is evil.

    I recently posted a comment to a friend on Facebook that Martin Luther King Jr. succeeded because he framed the civil rights movement in terms of calling America to account for its own values, while Black Lives Matter will fail because its premise is that America is an unremittingly racist country.

    Sadly, I got pushback from some of his friends over the notion the MLK succeeded. They refuse to see the changes that have taken place over the past 60 years.

    Last week at a jam night at a local blues club, a couple of singers did an impromptu arrangement of Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come. Cooke wrote the song in 1963 after he and his entourage were turned away from a Holiday Inn because they were black. Since that kind of real institutional racism no longer exists, the left has had to create the fiction that there is systemic intersectional oppression.

    Americans, white, black, green or blue, are generally not stupid. We can look around and see that, for the most part, we’re surrounded by decent folk and that this is basically a decent country.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jaeger

      “Americans, white, black, green or blue, are generally not stupid. We can look around and see that, for the most part, we’re surrounded by decent folk and that this is basically a decent country.”

      I agree completely and I think the greatest service Trump has done is be the guy who has internalized that view and been prepared to defend it through the torrents of abuse.

      The chattering classes do not agree with that view – they think middle America is a racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic stain on the world. The Democrats largely spew that vile nonsense and the vast majority of the Republican establishment will silently sit through it, hoping they won’t be called racist. It doesn’t work, as even profoundly decent men like Romney are still called all of those names.

      It appears Trump, and only Trump, is prepared to defend the country and himself from such insults even when the critics are black athletes, hispanic women mayors in Puerto Rico or any number of celebrities. This drives his opponents absolutely insane because they’ve literally never encountered anyone prepared to defend the basic decency of white America or its institutions before.

      If they were to actually learn a lesson from that there wouldn’t be a need for a second Trump term, but it doesn’t look like any of the chattering classes are prepared to learn any humility. So I think we can probably count on a second Trump term, if he is interested in pursuing it.

      Reply
    • kvndoom

      The biggest problem with “black lives matter” is that most all blacks murdered in this country are killed at the hands of other blacks, but that’s not a problem. It’s only a problem when a white police office pulls the trigger, which is less than 1% of the occurrences.

      So if by our actions we posit that black lives don’t actually matter to us, how and why do we expect our lives to matter to anyone else?

      I won’t even bother talking about this Trump nonsense much anymore. It’s gotten to be as tiring as the 8 years of Obama nonsense were. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity, gender, orifice preference, religion, or income level people are, they all have one thing in common- hatred of their fellow human. In fact, hatred is the only thing that humans ever seem to have gotten right throughout our existence. We kill other living things for sport because we are full of hate and taking life makes us feel good. We feel pleasure at the misfortune of others for the same reason. We call names, we bully, we lie and steal, we belittle those who disagree, and we put a label on everybody and everything, because all these things define us as a species. We somehow think technology has made us better, more civilized, than our ancestors of hundreds or thousands of years ago, but we do now the same shit they did then, just by different means and under a different name. For the past nine years I have been drawn to reading the train-wreck comments of news articles like a moth to flame, because I still cannot somehow believe there is so much hate in the world. I see it here in these comments. I see it at work. I see it and hear it everywhere and I am unable to train myself to not see it, and it feels like my fucking brain is going to explode.

      Reply
      • Ken

        Thank you, I agree with much of this. It is frustrating – the hatred, the nonsense, the utter useless noise.

        Try to keep some optimism. Its easy to forget or not see, because there’s much less focus on it, but progress has been made and things are better. Hopefully, over the arch of several more generations we continue to move in the right direction.

        At least that’s what I tell myself. Its hard to look at my young children and to think their hearts will ever be filled with such hate. We as a species are good at it, but we aren’t born with it. It’s learned.

        I hope future generations don’t look back and wonder why we didn’t address climate change, instead we bitched about the NFL, who uses what bathroom, old monuments, and the size of the president’s hands.

        Reply
    • Daniel J

      Ronnie,

      I live in Alabama. That type of racism does exist here. Not on the scale as it did back then. It is slowly going away as the older generations here die off or they realize the racism they breed won’t be tolerated by the younger generation. But it still exists.

      Reply
      • Doug

        That is the crux of the issue. The left which always needs a phantom issue to “fight” posits that racism is a systemic problem when in fact it is a problem of individuals who are really few and far between in this day and time.

        Reply
  6. E. Bryant

    So, NFL ratings were already down (for a variety of reasons), and the owners of the NFL already articulated their viewpoint in strong albeit non-verbal fashion by blacklisting Kaepernick, and Trump has utterly failed to generate anything resembling forward momentum on any of the key issues upon which he ran… but, OK, I guess we have to give him credit for this one. I’m pretty sure that this is the equivalent of a participation award, but it’s as much praise as we can afford to give the man at this time.

    I’m a fairly typical white male conservative midwestern voter in his 40s, and I can say that taking a knee during the national anthem is pretty far down on my list of cultural concerns with the NFL.

    Reply
  7. TAFKADG

    Say what you will about his NFL tweets, it cost him nothing but the time it took to shitpost 140 characters on social media. From a cost/benefit standpoint, that’s winning.

    “Trump has utterly failed to generate anything resembling forward momentum on any of the key issues upon which he ran…”
    -Neil Gorsuch on the SCOTUS
    -Multiple record Dow Jones Industrial Averages
    -Approved Keystone XL oil pipeline (pending litigation)
    -Reopening coal mines in PA
    -Muslim travel restrictions (despite the 9th circuit’s best efforts)
    -Construction of border wall prototypes underway
    -Unleashed ICE to deport gang members, illegals, etc.
    -Cracked down on sanctuary cities (currently pending litigation)
    -Exposed the judiciary for the lying, globalist shills they are
    -Exposed the GOP elite for the lying, globalist shills they are

    Speaking of which…”I’m a fairly typical white male conservative midwestern voter in his 40s….” I doubt this, bigly.

    Reply
    • hank chinaski

      “-Exposed the GOP elite for the lying, globalist shills they are”

      This, and triggering the far-left into irrational shrieking and sometimes violence, is perhaps his most important, even if unintentional accomplishment. The GOP has been playing the ‘well maybe they’ll eat me last’ strategy for too long.

      Reply
  8. Rod Jones

    -Neil Gorsuch on the SCOTUS
    pro-gun, pro–travel ban, anti-gay, anti–church/state separation. He is an uncompromising reactionary and an
    unmitigated disaster
    -Approved Keystone XL oil pipeline (pending litigation)
    So we can transport Canadas oil across our country. Stupid move
    -Reopening coal mines in PA
    Who needs clean air and fresh clean water
    -Muslim travel restrictions (despite the 9th circuit’s best efforts)
    Beyond stupid. Our own white racist conservatives kill more people here than Muslims
    -Construction of border wall prototypes underway
    A wall will do nothing but waste billions that could be used for infrastructure
    -Unleashed ICE to deport gang members, illegals, etc.
    And innocent people who harvest our crops
    -Cracked down on sanctuary cities (currently pending litigation)
    Unconstitutional but by his own admission he doesnt read anyway so how would he know?

    Reply
    • Bark M Post author

      Rod, you’ve said both stupid and racist things here. You sound like Kelly Osborne asking who’s going to clean the toilets if we deport all the Mexicans.

      Gorsuch is pro-Constitution. In fact, if all Trump accomplishes in his two terms (and he’s getting two terms, make no mistake) is Gorsuch and a conservative replacement for Kennedy and Ginsburg, I’m gonna go ahead and call his presidency a success.

      How in the world do you figure that “white racist conservatives” kill more people than Muslims? I mean, that’s not even close to being true.

      Reply
          • Zykotec

            Muslim terrorism in the west as a whole is still a minor inconvenience compared to prescription drugs , drunk driving, natural disasters, dog attacks or even rail road accidents.
            It’s nowhere near the big issues like general traffic accidents or non terrorrist murders or the big one, tobacco.

          • Zykotec

            Although any murder, and mass murder or terrorism act especially is a horrible and sad thing for anyone involved, statistically car accidents are still a lot worse for Nevada than the Las Vegas shooting if you only count deaths and injured as numbers on a paper, like any one in middle management would…

          • mas

            Orlando shooter was a citizen. His parents were from Afghanistan.
            Fort Hood shooter was also a citizen. His parents were from Palestine.
            San Bernardino shooters were also citizens/greencard holders. The man was born and raised here with parents form Pakistan, and the woman was also from Pakistan.
            9/11 hijackers/mass murderes were from Saudi Arabia (15 of them), UAE (2 of them), Lebanon and Egypt (one each)

            You see what countries are not appearing in the list I just gave you?
            Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The Trump 2.0 ban list.
            Incidentally, Trump Org has no business in any of these countries.

            The travel ban is a total BS.

        • Doug

          This comment makes no sense. Where is the link to conservative vs. non conservative murder rate? How about a population adjusted white male study? Your premise is as full of holes as Swiss cheese.

          Reply
      • Rod Jones

        “if all Trump accomplishes in his two terms (and he’s getting two terms, make no mistake) ”
        Even Steve Bannon thinks Trump has only a 30% chance of completing his term. His rural base is starting to abandon him so how the hell can you make such a statement is beyond bizarre.
        http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/09/trump-popularity-dropping-in-rural-america-over-healthcare-immigration/

        “Rod, you’ve said both stupid and racist things here.” Maybe you think Im of color. With my Welsh and Scottish lineage Im about as white as is possible. I was born and raised in Alaska where race never comes up unlike Ohio. I submit that you, Mark Baruth, are the stupid racist due to your support of Trump, your support of discrimination based on religion, and your lack of support for the first amendment. My grandad fought in the trenches of WW1, My dad survived 38 missions over Nazi Germany, and my uncle fought
        in Korea to help protect our right to freedom of speech. The fact that my family and millions of others served to protect the freedoms spelled out in the constitution is something that you neither understand or appreciate. Perhaps you would be happier living in a democracy in name only…like that big country east of Europe.

        I think that Deadweights assessment of you sums things up perfectly:

        “It is only in Mark Baruth’s world and others in the Trumptardian Guard (those low-information, largely southern, possessing an approximate 4th-grade level vocabulary, being extremely naive regarding economics, geopolitics and social issues, etc., as well, and also being extremely insecure about their own future due to personal insecurity and feeling threatened by women and minorities), that the time of an American President is well-spent starting and/or adding to controversy (especially via lunatic, early Morning Twitterstorms) over relatively benign and unimportant social wedge issues such as NFL players choosing to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem.”

        Reply
        • DirtRoads

          Wow so you’re a stupid racist if you support Trump? You really are completely brainwashed. How about a little independent thought form you once in a while, rather than having all your anti-Trump talking points down pat like this? Would’t you fare better on HuffPo?

          Name calling. Liberal tactics are always to label and shame, especially when you can’t win an argument using your fucking brains. Or facts. Or anything resembling a grip on reality.

          Reply
        • Bark M Post author

          I’m not sure how you think I wouldn’t understand military service, considering that I have had family members fight in every American conflict up until the Gulf War—and yes, that includes the Revolutionary War. My father is a Vietnam veteran, decorated for valor and bravery in face of the enemy, and my mother literally wore Army boots, receiving her honorable discharge as a Captain when she became pregnant with big bro. Only a big metal plate in my left arm kept me from serving in the military myself, despite my father’s insistence that he’d rather put me on a train to Canada than have me go to war.

          I don’t care about your color at all, only your reading comprehension. You suggested that Mexicans were only good for picking crops. If you can’t see the inherent racism in your comment, then you’re probably a liberal.

          Reply
          • The Donald

            Seems like you faced insurmountable odds in your quest to serve in the military. Considering your family history of heroic, unselfish service including decorations of valor going back to the beginning of the republic, your inability to serve due to your crippling metal plate must have been frustrating beyond comprehension. I can understand your frustation with your inability to commit to service with the military and claim your birthright just like the Donald. Can you imagine the pain he felt every time he got a college deferment and then, when the college deferrment expired, the pain in his feet? I shudder to think about that level of pain. I can only imagine your pain as you were physically held and prevented from attempting to join the fight. I know that because of your disappointing experience you will be presenting your children for service as soon as they qualify for military service, and for that the nation thanks you!

          • Bark M Post author

            I appreciate your sarcasm, but no, the military won’t accept you with metal holding your shattered bones together. Crazy, right?

          • Unknown

            You went to a MEPS and they disqualified you for a metal plate in your arm?
            Seems overly harsh unless it restricted movement?

          • Bark M Post author

            Yes, it restricted movement. Every day for five years, I had to do exercises to twist my bones back into place. I even applied for a waiver as a musician, and was declined. Of course, maybe I just wasn’t a good enough saxophonist.

          • DirtRoads

            Hey I got disqualified for not being able to duck walk after a motorcycle accident. That’s how it works. Or maybe you don’t know, you just like to criticize.

    • MrGreenMan

      You may not be tall enough for the ride.

      Trump promised a wall as his signature issue.

      He’s started building a wall.

      The charge that he’s made no forward progress on any promise is proved false, so you now want to litigate whether it was a good idea to promise it at all.

      Reply
      • Zykotec

        I’m going to ned pics of this wall. Or at least a link to a credible news source. I have only read that some companies have started prototyping wall designs hoping to get the contract for the wall that there is no funding for yet?

        Reply
    • TAFKADG

      You’re entitled to think whatever you like about Trump’s key issues. However, this is the assertion to which I responded.

      “Trump has utterly failed to generate anything resembling forward momentum on any of the key issues upon which he ran…”

      This assertion is a blatant falsehood.

      Reply
  9. Shrug

    “…(which just proves that he’s unemployed because he’s a poor quarterback, and for no other reason)…”

    There are many debatable, contentious points within this whole issue. First and foremost is the President of the United States trying to derail the single most important right we have as American citizens – the right to protest. Political speech has time and time again been known as the form of speech that falls under the strictest scrutiny under SCOTUS rulings. And frankly, given how strongly The Brothers Baruth feel about civil liberties, your stance on this (at least what from what can be inferred) is absolutely shocking.

    Nevertheless, this quote is where you lost me. Kaep isn’t a bad QB in the least. In fact, last year was probably his best season as a pro. There’s a narrative, usually from the ignorant and usually from the far right, that Kaep is nothing more than a slightly more mobile Blaine Gabbert (who is currently employed by the Arizona Cardinals, fwiw). This is horrendously wrong.

    Last year, with Jeremy Kerley as his only NFL caliber receiver, he put up 16 TDs against 4 INTs, completing 59.2% of his passes and posting a 90.2 QB rating. Stats don’t ever tell the whole story, of course, but given the absolute dearth of talent around him those are pretty damn good.

    Less visible from a box score, but much more telling, last year he really did take a gigantic step forward in accuracy (completion %age is misleading), pocket presence, and the ability to “read” a defense.

    Does that make him a top 5, or even top 10, QB? Absolutely not. He is however a better starter than what probably 15-20 teams currently trot out, and he’d be the backup QB in the league where such luminaries as Matt Cassell are employed.

    The only possible reason he is unemployed in a league absolutely starved for QB competence is political. That’s it. His play has nothing to do with it, and to push that idea is incredinly misleading.

    Reply
    • Spud Boy

      I’m totally fine with Kaepernick being frozen out of the league over his protests. The NFL has every right to regulate the behavior of players in such a way as to put the best product on the field. Like end zone dances, taunting, and excessive violence, player protests DO NOT MAKE THE NFL A BETTER PRODUCT, and if Kapernick is going to undermine the product I’m trying to sell, I don’t want him in my league.

      Reply
    • jz78817

      Regardless, the NFL and it’s properties are a private enterprise and they can (and absolutely should be able to) tell players they can’t use the league as their own personal soap box.

      Reply
      • Shrug

        Most (if not all?) stadiums are publically funded, which I’d reckon in the court’s eyes would render them “public.” A US citizen has every right to protest in a public space. Political belief is a protected class. In the United States, you cannot be fired because of, or forced to adhere to, political beliefs as that would infringe upon the 1st Amendment.

        The only rational argument is that employers can prohibit political activity in the work place. HOWEVER, from there one can make a sound argument that the national anthem can constitute “political activity” and that forcing somebody to stand for it would be illegal and unconstitutional.

        Reply
        • Bark M Post author

          Of COURSE you can be fired for political beliefs. That’s not a protected class in the private sector.

          “In these days of extreme political correctness, it is worth noting that political speech by private workers is not protected under federal law. This means that private employers in many jurisdictions can discriminate against employees based on politics. For example, if an employer fired an employee based on race, the employer would face liability under federal law. However, in the private sector there is no specific federal law to stop a Republican supervisor from terminating a Democratic employee simply because of political beliefs.”

          http://www.knoxnews.com/story/money/business/2017/07/12/can-you-fired-expressing-political-views-answer-may-surprise-you/467599001/

          Reply
          • Shrug

            You are correct. I was wrong and got my facts mixed up a bit. It’s been a few years since I last took a 1st Amendment law class or read up on stuff like this. Forgive me here.

            It does depend on the state, actually. In some, like California and Colorado I believe, it is protected. Federally, it is not. However, in this particular case it’s a bit tricky, and not just because they are demonstrating on what could conceivably be called public land.

            The vast majority of kneeling players are black. If an employer (say the Dallas Cowboys) has a blanket rule not to hire any employees that choose to protest the national anthem, that could then be construed as a race/Title VII issue given the proximity of race to the cause at hand.

            I guess it would more or less come down to whatever hypothetical judge happens to be hearing this hypothetical case?

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            The vast majority of kneeling players are black. If an employer (say the Dallas Cowboys) has a blanket rule not to hire any employees that choose to protest the national anthem, that could then be construed as a race/Title VII issue given the proximity of race to the cause at hand.

            Only moral cretins who accept “disparate impact” bullshit would buy that argument. A stronger argument can be made that the NFL discriminates in hiring against Christians who won’t work on the “Lord’s Day”.

            I guess it would more or less come down to whatever hypothetical judge happens to be hearing this hypothetical case?

            Which is why you leftists like legislating through favorable judges. I prefer the rule of law to the rule of man.

            I see how Mitch McConnel has indicated that he’s not going to let Democrats use the “blue slip” procedure to blackball President Trump’s appointments to the federal judiciary and he’s going to prioritize the judicial confirmations over executive branch appointments.

          • jz78817

            What exactly is a “moral cretin,” Ronnie? ‘cos right now it sounds like it just means “anyone who disagrees with you.”

        • Ronnie Schreiber

          So you’re saying that because Cobo Hall is a public place, a rigger working on the displays during the press preview of the Detroit auto show can protest poor warranty service on his Chevy while he’s on the clock?

          Political beliefs are decidedly not a protected class, at least federally. They are in California, but we’ll see how that works out with James Damore’s lawsuit against Google.

          You don’t have First Amendment free speech rights on the job. About the only First Amendment rights that are protected on the job are the fact that companies have to reasonably accommodate religious needs of employees, and that’s due to legislation, not constitutional rights.

          Reply
          • Daniel J

            Well, you do have those rights on the Job. Lets not confuse the right to do something with zero consequences. Many companies even have policies that link “at will” employment even with activities outside of employment, such as being seen at protests. So yes, NFL players have the “right”. But they don’t have the “right” to maintain their jobs. Neither do most employees, outside of union employees or states who have more employee rights.

          • DirtRoads

            You don’t have full First Amendment rights on the job. I work for the government and I can’t talk about politics during elections while at work (google Hatch Act). And even off the clock, I’m expected to behave in a way that doesn’t bring a bad light to the department I work for.

            We’ve allowed infringements on a lot of the Bill of Rights amendments. There are many of these against the First Amendment. Let’s not even get started on the 2nd or 4th amendment issues, or beyond.

      • Shrug

        When he was recovering from shoulder surgery? Yeah. Gabbert was also then benched for Kaep because Gabbert, frankly, sucks and Kaep was healthy enough to play effectively.

        Also, NFL players are a part of a Union (NFLPA) which comes with its own set of fun and occasionally byzantine rules regarding protest in the work place.

        Reply
  10. Dirty Dingus McGee

    What is the NFL? Is that the grown up version of a child’s game where players make between $100,000 and $20,000,000 per year?

    That said, while they are exempt from any “monopoly” claims, they are still a business. If you piss in the boss’s Cherrio’s, you WILL suffer consequences. Whether you agree with that or not, often depends on whether your name is on the bottom front of the paycheck, or on the back.
    If one of our employees causes us to lose business, which nearly happened a couple weeks ago, that employee is suddenly hunting a new job. Like it or not, you are representing your employer and if what you are doing costs him/her money, you are likely to be unemployed.

    There isn’t a “first amendment” right to protest what you perceive to be wrong, while you are “at work”. You can do that on your own time, and hope that the boss doesn’t care. However YMMV.

    Reply
  11. DeadWeight

    It is only in Mark Baruth’s world and others in the Trumptardian Guard (those low-information, largely southern, possessing an approximate 4th-grade level vocabulary, being extremely naive regarding economics, geopolitics and social issues, etc., as well, and also being extremely insecure about their own future due to personal insecurity and feeling threatened by women and minorities), that the time of an American President is well-spent starting and/or adding to controversy (especially via lunatic, early Morning Twitterstorms) over relatively benign and unimportant social wedge issues such as NFL players choosing to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem.

    Viva Kentucky.

    Reply
      • DeadWeight

        Kentucky is a great state. It’s too bad that the the amazing places and sites (places like Cumberland Fall, Natural Bridge State Park, Cumberland Park, Mammoth Cave, Lexington, Red River Gorge, etc I visited annually or semi-annually during the daily trek down to Florida on I-75 in my early youth are lost on a population that so overwhelmingly constitutes the hardcore Trump base (Hillary was a bad choice, Trump is unfit to be POTUS and set ANY EXAMPLES FOR AMERICAN YOUTH AT A CORE, NASIC LEVEL, AS HE’S A BULLY AND ENCOURAGES BULLYING and horrendous discord).

        I am not going to condemn the entire state of Kentucky – there are millions of good, decent people living there – because its population has a heavily-skewed hardcore Trumptardian loyalist guard, despite witnessing the fucking moron of the United States in office for 9 1/2 months now act like the biggest dickwad any developed nation has ever had as a “leader.”

        MAGA!

        “It’s going to be great! You’re going to love it! I will bring tens of millions of jobs from Korea, China, Mexico, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Poland, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, and other nations back, including Rawlings baseball cover stitching jobs, give you all the most incredible health care with maybe a $20 annual premiums and $0 co-pays, totally….and I mean, like absolutely…believe me…deport all criminals and build a glorious 400 foot-high, 2,200 mile long, gold leaf-gilded wall, tear up NAFTA, totally rebuild the military and the U.S. infrastructure, while ensuring that social security and pension funds remain solvent for 1,000 years or ore, and ensure that everyone pays no more…believe me…you will love this…no more than 1% in local, state and federal taxes combined, regardless of income, while I eliminate the *official* 20 trillion dollar national debt! Now let’s get those coking-coal mines back open, remove those factory smoke-stack scrubbers, sell off all public lands to private corporations, and recapture Dickens’ London, replete with chimney sweeps….MAGAAAAAAA!!!! BELIEVE ME IT WILL BE SO WONDERFUL YOU WILL BE TIRED OF WINNING AND SO MUCH WEALTH POURING DOWN UPON YOU!!!!”

        Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      DW, I like writing long sentences, but take a breath for a second, man.

      Some of the smartest people that I know (all of them 98th or 99th percentile) voted for Trump, well aware of the man’s flaws, but regarding him as Lincoln considered Grant, he fights.

      People are tired of bad faith accusations of racism and sexism.

      David Gelernter, a guy who can’t be described as low-information since he’s one of the leading computer scientists in the world, said that Trump’s support came from people tired of political correctness.

      Trump got elected in part because many people who voted for Mr. Obama decided to vote for Trump (including some blacks and Hispanics), and in part because many of the others who voted for Obama, particularly blacks and Hispanics, weren’t excited enough about Mrs. Clinton to vote.

      Besides being intellectually dishonest, the “racist, sexist, homophobe, islamophobe” smear is childish. Ya got nothin’ so you call names.

      Reply
      • Zykotec

        It doesnt help to be intelligent if you completely forget that the presidential election was not an episode of Idol or X-factor. Yeah, Trump was the most popular candidate for several reasons, none of which were things that would make him a good leader.
        But, listening to Americans discuss politics now is like listening to people discussing Mayweather vs MacGregor now. It’s over. MacGregor didn’t lose because Mayweather was racist, or because the Rusisians helped him cheat the game. The election/fight was won. No need for more hype.
        But, there are (or should be) more important things happening in the world than the 2020 Election.
        Can Trump please think about something else than being re-elected soon?

        Reply
    • Daniel J

      1. Lots of educated people voted for Trump.
      2. I’m confused. Is the issue important or not? It’s obviously important enough to disrupt football games, but its not important enough for the POTUS to take notice? Who’s supposed to take notice to make actual change?

      Reply
    • DirtRoads

      You skipped a few on the list pal. You forgot to accuse them of clinging to their guns and religion.

      By the way, your argument’s skewed by my demographic. I’m in the north, have a technical degree and a master’s degree, a white collar, professional job for the last 27 years, love women and they love me and guess what? I can still be pissed off about NFL players dissing my country’s flag. See, that’s MY right. The 1st gives ME the right just exactly as much as you contend they have to tell you that you are full of it because you back their behavior.

      And if you have no problem with what NFL players are doing, why don’t you get down there on your knees with them? I bet you even have the kneepads to help you from getting sore.

      Since you’re so good at, let’s pick geopolitics was one thing you mentioned, can you tell us about the historical geopolitcal significance of Turkey? Inland China? C’mon dude, let’s get it on (I’m not speaking down to you, just on your level). And you don’t get to Google it, just pull it out of your huge brain.

      Reply
      • Bark M Post author

        Poor DW forgot that his home state of Michigan is apparently also full of Trumptards, having voted for Mr. Trump in the 2016 election.

        Reply
        • jz78817

          Mmm, not as such. Michigan went Trump based largely on Macomb County flipping red. And the people I know who voted for him did so for one of two reasons: 1) “Hey, maybe this guy will actually get something done,” or 2) “I just don’t want Hillary in the Oval Office.”

          they’re not guaranteed to vote for him again.

          Reply
  12. Scotten

    You forget the Monday night game also consisted of the Bears playing, and no one has loved them in a long time (especially here in Chicago)! LOL

    Reply
  13. Ken

    I’ll say one thing about this site. Its a GREAT place for banter. Whether for or against – the comments are typically intelligent, if not down right funny! (I do secretly enjoy DW’s responses). No Facebook echo chamber here.

    Reply
  14. Rod Jones

    I didn’t say Mexicans were only good for picking crops. What I did say was that without them crops wouldn’t get picked. Try completely reading what is written instead of picking and choosing. Do you understand that our people have gone to war and died to protect our freedom of speech. The Uproar over the flag and what you can and cannot do to it was settled by the Supreme Court long ago so why you and other Trump supporters are making a huge deal on a disrespecting the flag is puzzling. If someone wants to disrespect the flag they have every right to do so.

    Reply
  15. Bigtruckseriesreview

    18 U.S. Code § 227 – Wrongfully influencing a private entity’s employment decisions by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch
    US Code

    (a) Whoever, being a covered government person, with the intent to influence, solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity—

    Nevermind the fact that Trump RECOMMENDED Police use Brutality when “throwing suspects into cop cars”.

    He is clearly in violation of the law and it’s only a testament to the WEAKNESS, CORRUPTION and SLOTH of the CONGRESS and the JOURNALISTS that Trump hasn’t been impeached yet.

    Donald J Trump whether you like him or not is an INDICTMENT of America.

    This country has become WEAK and STUPID…

    He really shouldn’t have any approval rating AT ALL.

    He should have no “base” at all.

    But because he’s exposed the stupidity of the American voter – he does.

    He’s the ultimate TROLL.

    Reply
        • Bigtruckseriesreview

          It’s because you don’t understand how I think.

          I’m like a guy who goes to a dog fight and doesn’t care who wins.

          If the underdog comes back and wins – AWESOME!!!

          If the bigger, stronger dog destroys the underdog – DARWINISM.

          I enjoy THE FIGHT because I learn by watching the FIGHT.

          Conflict sociology.

          If the AMERICAN PEOPLE are STUPID ENOUGH to let a conaman con them and manipulate the tax code…shame on em.

          If they suddenly WAKE UP and railroad this sociopath out of office – EVEN BETTER.

          I honestly have nothing but contempt for the conservatives AND the liberals.

          NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT.

          Reply
    • DirtRoads

      He didn’t recommend police brutality, chill, dude. The press magnified that way out of proportion, as usual.

      As for the rest of your unhinged rant, no more clicks for you from me. I’m not a “stupid American voter,” I happen to be a thoughtful, reasonably intelligent one. I supposed you thought Obama was a friggin wizard eh? I never voted for him. Yet, I voted for Clinton in the 90s and Bush in 2000. Go figure. Guess I never had a party.

      Reply
  16. dkleinh

    Trump seems like one of those CEOs like Ken Lay, who is big on generalities but short on details, leaving others to figure things out. When things work, he takes the credit and when things don’t it is someone else’s fault. The thing about viewing him as a CEO: where does the average american fit – CEOs are supposed to work for the shareholders, but I am not sure he views americans that way – probably more like low-level employees.

    Reply
  17. Newton

    i’ll get flamed but people really should read the old chestnut “the Protocols of the Elders…” Divide and conquer. Meanwhile the Repubs and Dems really do have the same agenda, especially when it comes to global policy. it comes down to style points. Obama and Trump are merely figureheads. One stirred the pot and made blacks angry at whites. now Trump just stirs the pot for the other side. Meanwhile nobody is really looking at who is pulling the strings. The City of London banker cabal

    Reply
      • Newton

        hey Saul Alinsky, is that all you got? Clinton had his Balkan wars, Bush his Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama his Libya, Syria, Yemen. Trump tbd. Yet just like the people arguing above, each had their defenders. Nobody could see the big picture, too wrapped up in the details and the bread and circus. Put down the Koolaid and just look into the City of London corporation for starters. Just don’t cut yourself on pyramid with the eye.

        Reply

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