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Outsiders vs. Insiders: The real losers in the Trump/NFL spat are the SOBs wearing the cleats

The scene must have been surreal last Friday night in Alabama when President Donald Trump characteristically veered off topic during a speech promoting an establishment senatorial candidate to bash the National Football League.

By now everyone knows what Trump said about the (son of a bitch) football players who are taking part in growing nationwide remonstrations against the American flag (during the singing of the national anthem prior to Roger Goodellfootball games) and images of competitors locking arms or kneeling in protest are indelibly burned into the eye sockets of every patriotic soul in the country who watched television last weekend.

Such actions inspired passionate responses, no doubt about it.

Joel Gehrke, Mandy Mayfield and Daniel Chaitin reported in the Washington Examiner, “While a number of players also slammed the president for his attack on the NFL, including Redskins linebacker Zach Brown, who tweeted at Trump to ‘stay in [your] place,’ the Trump faithful rallied to his cause. For example, Fox News' Sean Hannity tweeted Saturday of the coming demise for the NFL if it and its players keep dabbling in politics. ‘If @NFL and players choose to continue to make political statements (their right) I predict fans who disagree will flee (their right also),’ he said…

“The NAACP's official Twitter account beckoned players of all U.S. professional sports leagues, including the NFL, to take a knee, using the hashtag #takeaknee. Politicians also hopped into the fray. Former Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards from Maryland called on all football players to take a knee during the national anthem this weekend to protest Trump.”

Nobody disputes the athletes’ free speech “right” to protest. But there can and will be consequences for them speaking out on something other than pass patterns and blocking schemes in their regular duties. They’re there to play football, aren’t they?

Meanwhile pro basketball marketing extraordinaire Lebron James also felt compelled to voice his displeasure over Trump’s opinions. Man, how many people wish they could switch their votes to Crooked Hillary now that “King James” has called out the president for his divisive rhetoric?

Uneducated outside observers might think Trump unwittingly stumbled into another cultural hornets nest by picking a fight with the immensely popular NFL (and NBA). Just consider how many Americans regularly follow the league with their time, money and allegiance to specific teams. Nearly everyone cares about some aspect of professional football. Heck, families argue about it over Thanksgiving dinner almost as much as they do in discussing politics (or at least mine does).

But in Trump’s case it wasn’t just about players protesting with their postures. Under the guise of protecting free speech many team owners – and the NFL commissioner – backed up the spirit of the contestants’ objections. Following closely on last month’s skinhead idiot vs. antifa idiot riots in Charlottesville the topic of race relations is still very much on everyone’s mind.

So why here, why now, President Trump?

His real motivations are safely locked in Trump’s ever-energetic mind yet it also seems obvious there’s a deeper purpose involved with using the bully pulpit to take on one of America’s most sacred cultural institutions. These days if Trump made a comment about Hollywood or the fake news media it wouldn’t have much staying power because those entertainment entities are already so overrun with a leftist mindset that no one would even notice he said anything.

But not the NFL; football is the comprehensive American pastime that unites right, left and center. One can speak the language of fantasy football anywhere without offending someone. And you might not feel safe donning a “Make America Great Again” hat in public but chances are you’ll be okay if you’re wearing a headpiece with an NFL emblem. I live in the Washington D.C. area but still see Dallas Cowboy logos all over the place and the wearers are left unmolested.

Displaying NFL gear used to convey a sense of patriotism with an allegiance to a particular local sports team and culture. With all of these player protests, however, now it could mean something entirely different.

Trump recognized this cultural shift and saw it as an opportunity to make a statement while drawing another line in the sand between “them” – the politically correct leftist flag haters – and “us,” the people who love the Constitution and the traditions that go along with American exceptionalism.

Trump sought to unite his coalition by pitting the average guy versus the filthy rich football establishment made up of owners and spoiled and privileged athletes. No one with knowledge doubts the level of skill, hard work and commitment it takes to become an NFL player; but once they’ve reached the promised land they’re rolling in the dough.

Football players’ idea of oppression is not being able to afford three Ferraris instead of just two.

To listen to these pampered brainless dolts whine about societal wrongs is deeply offensive to those who experience any number of injustices in their daily lives at the hands of government and other immovable institutions. Yet these real victims don’t sit for the national anthem because their health insurance bills are absurdly high or they’re being compelled to leave a portion of their property undeveloped because some federal bureaucrat tells them it’s off limits.

Reasonable people separate the flag from the actions of those who work for the government. A rogue cop doesn’t represent America any more than an incompetent bureaucrat does. The American ideal is pure even if its public servants aren’t; it’s the reason why we can protest the government and still love our country at the same time.

Trump seems to understand this concept better than any leader in recent memory. Still there are those who claim Trump will regret going after the NFL. Pam Key of Breitbart reported on one of them, “On this weekend’s broadcast of ‘Fox News Sunday,’ network contributor and Republican strategist Karl Rove discussed President Donald Trump criticism of NFL players for taking a knee during the national anthem at games.

“According to Rove, Trump would be ‘walking away’ from this controversy a ‘loser.’…

“’He could have come away from this the winner,’ [Rove said]. ‘But he is walking away from this a loser in the minds of the American people ... He was against the federal government interfering and telling the Washington Redskins what their name should be. Now he is saying fire those people if they do not stand and respect the flag. He ought to be an aspirational figure. He should not be a condemnatory figure.’”

Then there’s NBC commentator Chris Collinsworth who suggested Trump should “apologize” and send the “smart and thoughtful” NFL players an invitation to the White House, implying it was Trump who was again on the wrong side of the virtue fence.

Granted the football talking heads and people like Karl Rove have to suck up to the players and owners, but are they serious? Do they have no inkling of what the people in flyover country think about privilege and arrogance? If this is the elite ruling class’s prevailing attitude we all better start making plans for election night 2020 to see Donald Trump giving another victory speech.

Anyone with common sense can see Trump will emerge from this dust-up with the NFL as a clear winner with the people who matter – the voters. Polls show citizens heavily support standing for the flag and the national anthem and most Americans would choose to look up to a person in a military uniform any day of the week rather than a beefed-up roided-out freak in a football costume. Whose point-of-view would you choose?

Should someone who volunteered to potentially put themselves in harm’s way for our country be given greater credence for their intellect over a guy who can run a 40-yard dash time faster than 99.9% of the population? Or some behemoth who weighs nearly three times as much as an average man and can bench press 600 pounds?

What gives these physical mutants any more authority to comment on political matters than an eye-friendly actor who can memorize and recite scripted lines in a way that pleases people? They’re famous and that’s it. They have a microphone and they use it. The issue here is not free speech -- it’s speaking out of turn.

Players, like entertainers, are opening their traps because otherwise we’d just assume they’re stupid. Roger L. Simon wrote at PJ Media after Trump’s UN speech last week, “[H]ere's the truth about those entertainment-types, having worked among them for decades.  They're really afraid you'll think they're just dumb actors.  So they pontificate endlessly, particularly at awards ceremonies, to convince you (and themselves) they're not nitwits or just mega-rich Tesla communists (formerly Cadillac communists or Mercedes communists).

“But if they were watching Trump's UN speech -- and sooner or later we all were -- they know deep down what we all know, even if they wouldn't say it in a million years for fear of never working again:  he was great.”

Trump was great in Alabama on Friday night too and the sports world is terribly afraid Americans will side with the president over them and that their multi-billion dollar cash cow is about to be slaughtered for pet food.

For if they challenge the president over the genuine meaning of the American flag they’ll lose every time. When taken together with the persistent bad news about concussions in the sport we could be witnessing the initial death throes of the NFL. If anyone should apologize it’s the conceited jackasses who refuse to concede that the common man keeps their paychecks coming – not their antics during the anthem.

Whatever his motivations, President Trump has found himself a real winner on this issue. Picking a fight with the NFL is a no-lose situation for him. It’s only a shame that those in America’s most popular spectator sport don’t acknowledge the conspicuous writing on the wall.

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