May 24 Open Thread: NFL Owners Bow and Scrape, Players Must Stand

Filed in National by on May 24, 2018

The National Football League has a big orange problem, and it’s not the Cincinnati Bengals. The league’s owners adopted a policy that players who don’t want to stand for the National Anthem must stay in their locker rooms, pleasing nobody, and yesterday admitted they did so out of fear of Trump, who back in happier, simpler times (last autumn) vented his tweeted spleen against protesting players. Just another bunch of American businessmen kissing the vast orange ass.

For all the outrage the NFL protests stirred up, little of it had any impact on the real target, police violence against blacks. We get a reminder of that with the release of video footage of Milwaukee police tasing NBA player Sterling Brown back in January because he argued with a cop writing him a parking ticket. But the police chief apologized so hey, we’re all good, right?

If you’re looking for evidence that Republicans in Congress will ever move against Trump, we’ve found it: lifting sanctions on ZTE:

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, by a vote of 23 to 2, approved Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) amendment aimed at blocking the administration from unilaterally lifting existing penalties against ZTE without first certifying that the company is in compliance with U.S. laws. The existing ban has crippled ZTE, which relies heavily on American parts for its phones. American intelligence officials have warned that ZTE’s technology could be used to conduct cyber-espionage in the U.S.

Meanwhile, in Europe, an inquiry into the downing of that Malaysia Air flight over Ukraine in 2014 found it was indeed a Russian missile that did the job. Investigators determined which military unit fired on the civilian flight but have not determined how far up the chain of command the order originated. Russia, which conservatives believe stopped lying as soon as it scrapped communism, denies everything. Just like its puppet.

Think piece for today: Thomas Frank sees the widespread support for teacher strikes as evidence that conservative neo-liberal ideas about education (remember Tom Carer’s continual carping about “accountability”?) are officially headed for the shitcan.

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  1. puck says:

    This year we’ll know NFL won’t be standing to respect the flag. They’ll be standing because their boss made them.

    Police brutality stains the flag.

  2. RE Vanella says:

    You mean like this:

    Here’s why police are garbage. They make the argument that these are all isolated cases (bad apple defence). This is obviously ridiculous based on what we observed on a daily basis.

    And even if it were true why don’t these cops get prosecuted and convicted? Hmmm.

    Until then I’ll continue to stand with Ice Cube and DJ Ren. Fuck the police and fuck the NFL.

    By the way, this is what makes people like Mitch Crane especially sickening. Lamenting how he was an activist and slurs were hurled at him yet he Stans and Reps the pigs.

    Nah, bud. No one is buying it. And I don’t care that you don’t care. (We know you do care.)

  3. spktruth says:

    Fascism is here folks. The players can still play and make their point, just don’t come on the field until AFTER the anthem. Stay in the locker room and still make a point.

  4. RE Vanella says:

    Walkout en masse unannounced any particular Sunday during the season. Like a sick-out.

  5. bamboozer says:

    Billionaire owners and the mighty orange dumpster or not the power resides with the players if they will but use it. No players, big name in particular, equals no game and a widespread case of furious fans. In addition these men are mostly millionaires, they will not be without counsel. As noted 80% of the players are black and a great many fans are black as well. As noted a walkout would probably do it. Suspect this is not over, imperious decree or not.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Some accounts mention Eagles owner, Jeff Laurie, as particularly fearful of Trump’s reactions to this or that move.

    If true – it is disappointing. Trying to game-plan around how some unstable idiot may react is a mug’s game. Just ask the DNC.

  7. RE Vanella says:

    Jets owner says he’ll pay every fine himself and the players can do whatever they want.

  8. Ben says:

    bamb, can you imagine tmp “hereby demanding” people attend sportsball games to show respect for the flag?

  9. Dan says:

    There’s more than one reason NFL owners might not want to follow Trump’s lead:

  10. mediawatch says:

    Chris Johnson is actually the NY Jets chairman and CEO.
    The team’s owner is Woody Johnson, whose primary duty these days is serving as the Big Orange’s ambassador to the UK.
    Trump is probably on the phone to Woody right now, messaging something like “if you want to be ambassador next week, tell your little bro to STFU.”

  11. RE Vanella says:

    Duly noted. I don’t follow NFL so I wasn’t hip to that twist. Thanks for the detail.

  12. RSE says:

    In other football news: Former PSG and Barcelona star Ronaldinho set to marry both his fiancées at the same time….I always wondered why that guy constantly had a smile on his face when he played.

  13. RE Vanella says:

    Shows you money outweighs looks.

  14. Tom Kline says:

    The players are employees of their team. They have no rights to protest while at work.

  15. spktruth says:

    No matter WHO you as a citizen are employed by, YOU do not give up your rights, to give up your right is fascist authoritarian thinking, you must love Trump.

  16. Liberal Elite says:

    @TK “The players are employees of their team. They have no rights to protest while at work.”

    You’re looking at this backwards. In many states, it’s illegal to force an employee to make any political act. Trump and his friends have made standing a political act, and so it becomes illegal.

  17. spktruth says:

    That is life under Trump, Are you saying the Constitution and rule of law is no longer? No, I am not looking at this issue backwards, I refuse to accept we the citizens have no rights, no freedom of speech under Trump. All employees have these human rights NO matter who employs them. To accept Trumpism is to accept fascism.

  18. RE Vanella says:

    Tom and LE serve the same function.

  19. Liberal Elite says:

    @spktruth “Are you saying the Constitution and rule of law is no longer? No, I am not looking at this issue backwards, I refuse to accept we the citizens have no rights, no freedom of speech under Trump.”

    I was replying to TK’s stupidity. Let me explain it in another way… The NFL cannot force its employees to make political acts. If standing during the anthem is a political act (which clearly it is), then the new NFL rule is in violation of the law. But the “You can stay in the locker room” exemption may give them legal cover. This may be tested in court…