The Bigger Issue: Trump Going All Gladiator on the NFL

With all due respect for how to best register one’s views on the great issues of the day by adopting one or another postural position during the playing of the National Anthem, I fear President Trump’s odious and frightening comments on NFL game rules are being drowned out. That’s a shame, because his views reveal willful disregard not only for the dead-serious problem of brain injuries in NFL players, but also the larger issue of violence as entertainment and opiate for the masses.

For all of the president’s characteristic crudity in using his bully pulpit to call out “sons of bitches” who take a knee or stay in the locker room during the anthem, he exhibited even more hopelessly warped views in the following segment from the same incendiary speech:

“When the NFL ratings are down massively, massively. The NFL ratings are down massively. Now the number one reason happens to be they like watching what’s happening… with yours truly. They like what’s happening. Because you know today if you hit too hard—15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television, his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.”

Let’s linger with that for just a moment.



NFL football is a ravaging and violent game, second perhaps only to mixed martial arts in its sheer bone-and-brain crunching mayhem.

Large, heavily muscled, intensely athletic and aggressive young men bang into each other at forces exceeding hundreds of miles per hour.

For some reason, he feels qualified and entitled to weigh in on this issue in the hope of curtailing penalties for late and other egregious hits that he apparently wants to enjoy from the safety of his White House or Mar-a-Lago television room.

Such repeated collisions cause lifelong restrictive—if not wholly debilitating—injuries in most every player who manages to stay in the league a few years.

When those injuries are to knees, shoulders and other joints, it may mean they walk with a permanent limp or can’t turn their necks or throw their children playfully into the air in that way that fathers love to do.

When those injuries are to the soft tissue of their brains, it can result in degenerative brain disease, causing dementia, violent tendencies, and death.

News item from the New York Times Magazine, July 25, 2017:

A neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players—and 110 were found to have C.T.E., the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.

And this, in the Times of September 21::

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end and a convicted murderer, was 27 when he committed suicide in April. Yet a posthumous examination of his brain showed he had such a severe form of the degenerative brain disease C.T.E. that the damage was akin to that of players well into their 60s…C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, has been found in more than 100 former N.F.L. players, some of whom committed suicide, according to researchers at Boston University.

And from a deeply troubling review in Popular Science of exactly what happens to the brain during concussions, an account of a particularly violent hit on Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown during a 2016 playoff game:

“Bengals’ linebacker Vontaze Burfict launched himself at Brown as he came down, slamming his helmet (which in the NFL can weighs four to six pounds) into the side of Brown’s head, whipping it sideways on his brain stem. The hit, at an estimated 707 miles per hour, carried about 1,600 pounds of tackling force. It flattened Brown on his back, seemingly knocking him unconscious.”

A collision at 707 miles per hour. While Brown’s helmet perhaps saved his life, it didn’t save his brain from the likely long-term effects it suffered. This kind of helmet-to-helmet collision, the article went on to state:

“…can reach between 100 and 150 on the G-force scale (for comparison, consider that an F-16 fighter jet rolling in a turn has a G-force load of nine…”

One more set of NFL injury stats from CNN before returning to our president’s comments:

Statistics on Diagnosed Concussions
(Preseason and regular-season practices plus games)
2012 – 261
2013 – 229
2014 – 206
2015 – 275
2016 – 244

That’s 1,215 concussions over five years, for an average of 243 per season. None of them accounts for the likely thousands of other brain-jarring hits that don’t register as concussions but nevertheless result in cumulative damage to tender brain tissue.

Those are stark facts, facts that surely terrify the families of football players across the country and should cause sober reflection among all fans who witness such ongoing carnage.

Our president’s response? In a nutshell, it is this: “Man up. Stop coddling these players.”

For some reason, he feels qualified and entitled to weigh in on this issue in the hope of curtailing penalties for late and other egregious hits that he apparently wants to enjoy from the safety of his White House or Mar-a-Lago television room.


Couldn’t help but think again back to Trump’s comments last year on John McCain, whom he ridiculed for “getting caught” by the North Vietnamese in 1967 and then spending five and half years being intermittently tortured by them while Trump avoided service via a medical deferment for “bone spurs” in his feet.

A few nights ago, the PBS documentary series on Vietnam showed clips of McCain, three of his four limbs broken, lying in a Hanoi hospital bed being interviewed by a French journalist. He teared up when asked what he wanted to say to his family. Afterwards, his captors beat him for not expressing guilt and regret for his actions as a soldier.

Now we have a president who lampoons him and implores us to encourage more violence in an overwhelmingly violent game that leaves nearly all its combatants affected for life, many of them to crippling degrees and early death.

We have a word for a person like this. A few words, actually.





It all hearkens back to Roman gladiator times, or to the sport of feeding human beings to wild beasts in the arena, appealing to the blood lust and lowest common denominator of crowds, our rapacious animal natures given full rein.

By our president.

Whether or not to take a knee in solidarity with a cause pales in comparison to this latest atrocity from an atrocious and thoroughly dishonorable man.


Check out this blog’s public page on Facebook for 1-minute snippets of wisdom and other musings from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied always by lovely photography.

Twitter: @AndrewHidas


Deep appreciation to the photographers!

Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at the top of this page. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at:

Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact:

Depiction of human brain by Laura Dahl, Taylorsville, Utah, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at:

Roman Colosseum photo by Mariano Mantel, Argentina, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at:

Christians and beasts art piece from ancient world, public domain, no known artist

38 comments to The Bigger Issue: Trump Going All Gladiator on the NFL

  • Gerry Ausiello  says:


    What I am trying to figure out is what is it going to take for Congress to act to have him removed (the 25th amendment), or the Mueller investigation resulting in “high crimes, etc.”, or ?

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Gerry, I doubt the first of those would happen with this Congress unless Trump actually does shoot someone on Fifth Avenue as he joked about (I think it was a joke…) during the campaign. Though even then, his staunchest supporters would likely cite his frustration with the mean media as an excuse. As for the second, I’d say that’s a distinct possibility, though in some ways a Pence presidency frightens me all the more. Trump is at least mostly ineffective given his emotional instability, Pence would be much less so.

  • Angela  says:

    I am weary of trying to understand Donald Trump’s syntax, let alone trying to understand any point he is trying to make and the arbitrary and absolute lines he draws in the sand. Weary and disgusted. Thank you for reviving my awareness and interest.

    In the meantime I, too, have been watching the remarkable Ken Burns production “The Vietnam War” and am struggling anew to absorb and make sense of the overwhelming violence, carnage and loss. What an ancient, ghastly, wasteful and demoralizing tale: two sides of men, fighting; beating and shooting and bombing each other to a pulp, year after year after year.

    The recreational violence of football doesn’t look very different, really (what a phrase: recreational violence).Two sides of men, beating each other up year after tear after year: violent, heartbreaking carnage and loss.

    If we cannot figure out how to entertain ourselves without cracking open skulls and creating life-long disability I am not sure I feel very hopeful about the ultimate fate of peace and warfare.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      You paint a powerful picture, as other fine writers have done before you, of the utter absurdity of war, Angela. And I don’t think I can add anything to the bald and painful fact that it’s men here, men there, and men over yonder who are responsible for just about all of it. I have a high regard for my own gender but man, I am more than ready to give women a shot at running the world for a good long while!

  • Gerry Ausiello  says:

    Yes, I’ve thought about Pence, a very scary dude, but at least he understands protocol and would be more restrained in his execution (probably a poor choice of words) of the office of the presidency. He would also recognize that he would need to work with the Congress, who I believe will be getting a very rude awakening soon! We can only hope!

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Yes, my fear is that after the chaos and bitterness of Trump, Pence would come off as so ravingly sane that a grateful and relieved country would breathe a tremendous sigh of relief, go back to their lives, and he and an equally relieved Republican Congress would ram through far-reaching radical legislation. I’m pretty certain we’d have some lousy health care bill long since passed under Pence, among other things. But given his relative sanity and far more measured tones, I do think the country and world would be better off with him, Trump being the clear and present danger that he is.

  • Jay Helman  says:

    Poignantly presented, Andrew. Bless you, brother, for seeing through the bluster (and shame) of taking a knee phenomenon to this truly disgusting and troubling insight into Trump psyche. Your piece demands a broad public reading. I ask that you submit to a major publication that would assure broader readership. Please do so. . . soon.

    Gerry, Joy Reid pleaded with Congresswoman Waters of CA. to help her understand lack of movement by Congress to at least censure Trump. Waters, an outspoken critic of Trump, and one of few in Congress to use the term impeachment provided a quite thoughtful response. She said that Congress is mired in a mess simply trying to govern due to Trump. Taking on the issue of censure or impeachment, she suggested, is implausible given his constant disruption to the business of governing the country. He is SUCH a problem child that disciplining him would detract and make impossible the more important and essential elements of the job!

    With respect to taking a knee: For those who haven’t seen or heard about Stevie Wonder’s reaction overt he weekend, it is worth seeking out. In a public appearance he took one knee, he declared, in solidarity with the players and the cause they represent. Then, touchingly, he took a second knee in prayer for our planet. Wonderful moment with Stevie.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Jay, I think I’d better understand the outrage from those who fancy themselves true-blue patriots if players were turning their backs on the flag or spitting into the wind, but the symbolism of taking a knee is not unimportant; it has always had reverential connotations. Stevie Wonder’s gesture (thanks for that, I had missed it!) simply reinforces that point by taking to both knees.

      As for Trump, the more I think about this, the more I see him as reveling in just yanking chains left and right to keep the country in chaos and himself amused and self-important in a twisted way. It was pathetic the other day to read he felt he had to raise this ruckus to make sure his base didn’t abandon him because he had soiled himself by actually talking and cooperating with Democrats on DACA. Can’t have any of that—not in this venomous, hate-filled political environment! The disgraced theocratic judge Roy Moore winning yesterday’s Senate primary in Alabama despite Trump having visited and campaigned for the incumbent will only reinforce all the worst of that phenomenon.

      Thanks for the advice & nudge on seeking a wider audience for this. As it happens, I’ve been exploring some other platforms to complement what I do here. Stay tuned…

      • Jay Helman  says:

        Andrew, Trevor Noah came up big (and insightful) the other night, pointing out that perhaps nothing is more disrespectful to the American flag than the CONFEDERATE Flag! After all, it was that flag and the war effort it represented that attempted to overthrow the American flag. Of course our President has no understanding of this or any censure for those who defend it. Indeed, he praises them as fine people. Further, he STILL does not understand what those who kneel are protesting. They are categorically NOT protesting the flag. Trump and his supporters just can’t seem to get this— or they do not want to understand it.

  • Lisa  says:

    Sadly if Stevie Wonder took “both knees” on the football field it would be looked upon as praying and be frowned on. There is a whole other group of people that are very offended by these sports stars disrespecting our flag. A protest during the anthem is the same as “turning your back on the flag” or “spitting into the wind.” I respect their right to protest, but not in the shameful way they are doing it.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Thanks, Lisa, glad you wrote. I’m a little reluctant to sway from the actual subject of my post, which was that these protests overshadowed what I think was the more serious issue of the president’s seeming penchant for promoting more violence in an already too violent game. But since Jay and I touched on it in the comments, let me just say this now:

      I’m not sure who you’re referring to as doing the frowning over people praying, but various members of sports teams have been praying in locker rooms and on fields as long as I can remember, so whomever has been frowning certainly hasn’t had much influence in curtailing the practice. Google “NFL players praying” and behold hundreds of images pouring onto your screen. For my own purposes, players and teams can pray as much as they want; Lord knows pro sports are hard and brutal endeavors, so whatever helps get them through is fine with me. (So long as no one of a different persuasion is coerced into joining in.)

      I do disagree, though, with your second point. Symbols matter greatly, and there’s a huge symbolic difference between kneeling and turning one’s back. If there weren’t, then kneeling would not have the symbolic power that it has maintained over thousands of years, across virtually all human cultures. It is not insignificant that Kaepernick and others have chosen that particular posture, while still others have locked arms, etc. All of them strike me as making a serious point about the country not yet living up to the ideals represented by the flag, rather than spurning the flag as a symbol. One can disagree with that point and the venue they’ve chosen for it, but it’s hard to doubt the sincerity of their convictions.

  • David Moriah  says:

    Really, Lisa? I hardly think it “shameful” to quietly make a statement that our beloved country has not always lived up to its ideal of “liberty and justice for all”. Funny how I see very few Americans of color calling out this form of protest as shameful. Ain’t it great to be a white person in America?

  • Lisa  says:

    David – My comment was only my opinion and one many I know feel the same about. I never brought up race and never would. This is about respecting our country and our flag.

  • David Moriah  says:

    Of course you didn’t bring up race BECAUSE YOU ARE WHITE! (I’m making an assumption here. Am I correct?)

  • Lisa  says:

    David – I only made a comment because I wanted to show there are other views on this topic. It was just my opinion. Again my comment had nothing to do with race, my comment was about our country and our flag. The only color I am is American.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Lisa, of course there are other views and you are entitled and welcome to your opinion. But opinions are always subject to challenge; that’s what makes for interesting discussion and maybe even change!

      I think the important point here is that you can say, “The only color I am is American” precisely because you’re white. For a black person in this country, it has been and remains virtually impossible to be only “American,” because they still face or observe such a large residue of entrenched racism that they are all too aware of their blackness most every day. It shows up in countless ways, and I’m sure you have seen them yourself. A color-blind society is a laudable goal, but we are a long, long way from that.

      • David Moriah  says:

        Nicely stated Andrew. That’s pretty much exactly what I was about to say. Think about this question- how many times a day do you walk into a room, or a store or a job interview and you think “I’m a white person.”

      • Lisa  says:

        Andy – So true! Everyone’s comment(s) will be challenged and that is why I wrote because I was the only one on this thread who had a different view to share. All I wanted to convey was the disrespect I was seeing when one does not stand up for our anthem. That was it, nothing about race, it was about the flag. Tell someone (like my husband) that served this country that you are kneeling during the anthem, he might tell you about a whole different world out there that you were never aware of and how grateful you would be to come back to America.

        David – why the anger and yelling at me for stating my opinion.

        • Jay Helman  says:

          So many people, media included, are focused the race issue that continues to fester and heighten. My appreciation for Andrew’s original post is that he pierced through the race issue and surfaced the sick inhumanity of Mr. Trump’s disregard for brain injuries and his call for, in essence, heightened gladiatorial combat. Do we really want this man leading our country? That he defends white supremacists is one thing. His disregard for brain injuries and encouragement of greater violence ought to concern us all—-deeply.

      • David Moriah  says:

        Anger? Yelling at you? Andrew, did you see any of that in my messages? Perhaps it was tha ALL CAPS which I used for emphasis, not to express anger. I will certainly revise to lower case letters as a peace offering.

        • Andrew Hidas  says:

          David, no, not anger, but a definite, strongly stated challenge to a strongly stated view. But yes, ALL CAPS are mostly regarded as yelling on the Internet, so I can certainly understand that interpretation. Part of my gripe with WordPress Comments is that the software doesn’t allow for italics, which is a shame, because it doesn’t let one emphasize a phrase in that useful way that italics do.

          Lisa, let me say this: you sound defensive when someone challenges your view, falling back on, “I’m only stating my opinion!” But there are different kinds of opinions. “Vanilla ice cream is best!” is one kind, and it’s not really open to challenge except by someone else who claims, “No, chocolate is!” La de da…

          But if you step into the political arena and call a form of protest “shameful” for your own reasons, you can pretty well expect that someone who feels strongly in the other direction will challenge your view and ask you to back yours up while offering his own counter-arguments.

          I think your arguments that a symbolic protest during the national anthem is “shameful” and that there should be no black or white Americans but only “Americans” are highly problematic, with a lot of holes in them, which we are getting to here piece by piece within the limitations of an Internet discussion. But when you’re challenged, it doesn’t much move the discussion along to say, “Hey, back off, I’m only stating my opinion!”

          Finally, I’m not sure what you’re getting at referring to your husband’s travels and resultant feelings about this country and the right to protest. Is the implication perhaps that those who protest or who defend their right to do so haven’t traveled as much as he has, or served in a meaningful way, so are somehow deficient in insights and appreciation that we would feel if we got out more?

    • Marion Lansford  says:

      Precisely! The only color is American. That’s right! The flag agrees! But, a whole lot of others say secretly, ” I don’t agree with the flag. Aww, it’s pretty. It waves. Hey you, over there! Where you from? You got a job? Put your hands behind your back.”

      • David Moriah  says:

        I am totally mystified by this comment. What in the world does it mean? “The flag agrees!” ??? “Where you from? You got a job? Put your hands behind your back.” ??? Would someone please translate for me?

  • Lisa  says:

    Andy – I wrote because I had a different opinion than everyone else on this thread. When I wrote that my husband served in the military I was not implying that he traveled more than anyone else, I was implying that he was willing to give up his life for this country. That should count for something, when he sees someone kneeling during the anthem it stings from his perspective.
    When someone brings race into a statement I wrote, that had nothing to do with race and calls me “white” that is in itself a racist statement.
    My only reason for joining in this discussion was to state that not standing for our flag was disrespecting our country and our flag. That is the one and only reason I made a comment at all.

    • Jay Helman  says:

      So, Lisa. My curiosity about your concerns for disrespect of our country is growing. A few questions/observations: Might there be reason for concern about a U.S. President showing more respect for a Russian President siding with a brutal and genocidal Syrian leader than for his predecessor in the White House? Might we be concerned for respect of our democratic values when a U.S. President identifies White Supremacists, waving the Confederate Flag as “fine people?” Or perhaps an Attorney General who supports white supremacy and denounces gay rights; Or the E.P.A Director demanding soundproof walls for his meetings so that those who want to protect the environment cannot have access to his policy objectives—-in my view this disrespects (worse, it completely disregards democratic principles of open and shared government. Curious as to your thoughts on some of these. The list could go on and on, including Education Secretary DeVos’ disdain for public education, etc. Please take this in the spirit of trying to understand views that our outside the scope of my own; and not as an attack. If I were to “take a knee” or two knees for that matter, it would be to demonstrate my concern and disgust for this Administration’s actions that clearly reveal contempt for all things our flag represent, and all lives sacrificed to uphold those principles.

  • Andrew Hidas  says:

    Lisa, I respect you and your husband’s right to feel any way you want about respecting the flag and how you go about doing it, but surely you are aware of the many veterans who have also served their country who feel very differently than he does. Many of those voices say that someone’s right to peacefully protest is the very highest ideal that they fought for. Probably the most eloquent is Michael Sand, whose Facebook post on this matter went viral a few days ago. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to read it here, just scroll down to his post from September 24:

    As for your claim that noting your whiteness in the context of this discussion “is itself a racist statement,” I can’t see how that’s true. Your whiteness is a simple fact, and recognizing it does not mean the person doing so is prejudiced and discriminating against you, which is the definition of racism.

    Whiteness undergirds how you, me and other whites have been able to live, access, advance, get educated and feel safe in this historically racist culture over hundreds of years. It’s not the only thing that matters, but it has most certainly conferred an advantage on whites. It is your luxury to say “I’m not white, I’m American,” and to keep insisting that others have brought up race in this discussion while you have studiously avoided it because it doesn’t matter to you. Blacks have never had the luxury of avoiding race, because their race undergirds how they have faced countless more roadblocks than whites in their effort “to live, access, advance, get educated and feel safe in this historically racist culture over hundreds of years.”

    Iif you really think race doesn’t and shouldn’t matter anymore, and that this take-a-knee episode and the responses to it aren’t saturated with racial context and undertones, I suggest you engage or read a lot more black voices about this matter and really listen to what they are saying, because their experience and understanding of this incident, like so many incidents, is vastly different than yours. They’re not racists for bringing that fact up. They’re realists.

    I appreciate you hanging in there and speaking your mind. It’s not an easy discussion, but then nothing about race in this country is. Here we are going on about it at great length, while what I really wanted to talk about was Trump’s call for amping up the violence in football. Oh well…

  • Andrew Hidas  says:

    So I just found this on Facebook and excerpted parts relevant to our discussion of Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee. It includes an open letter from former Army Green Beret turned NFL long snapper Nate Boyer in the Army Times, found here:

    Among other things, Boyer says, “Even though my initial reaction to your protest was one of anger, I’m trying to listen to what you’re saying and why you’re doing it. When I told my mom about this article, she cautioned me that ‘the last thing our country needed right now was more hate.’ As usual, she’s right.”

    So Kaepernick invited Boyer to San Diego after he read the piece, and they had a 90-minute discussion in which Boyer proposed that Kaepernick kneel instead of the sitting he had been doing. Why kneel? Because in a military funeral, after the flag is taken off the casket of the fallen military member, it is smartly folded and then presented to the parents, spouse or child of the fallen member by a fellow service member while kneeling. The two decided that kneeling for the flag would symbolize Kaepernick’s reverence for those who defend his country while still allowing him to peacefully protest racial injustice.

  • Lisa  says:

    Jay – I did not comment on anything about politics or our President. My comment was about the flag only. President Obama was president for 8 years and did many things not in the best interest of America but did you see anyone take a knee during the anthem in those 8 years. There is a time and place for protest.

    Andy – If that comment about “white” was reversed and I called out someone of color (which I would never do) it would be considered racism. The whole point is I never brought up anything about race. I did not bring up anything about politics. I stated the respect I had for our flag. I also stated the respect I have for anyone who wants to protest, but not during our anthem. People fought and died for that flag.
    The one and only reason I commented was to state that I thought it was disrespectful to not stand for our flag. There was no reason “race,” “politics” or “President Trump” should have been brought up in regards to my statement.
    Thanks Andy for letting me voice my opinion. Isn’t it nice to hear a different point of view now and then. I also know every time I am brave enough to make a comment there will be more than you wanting to debate with me. I’m not here to debate, I am just here to show another view. It really is that simple. Hope everyone (Andy, David, Jay) has a nice day.

    • David Moriah  says:

      Lisa, though Andrew has been quite eloquent in his responses to you, let me try again to explain why it would be inappropriate (emphasis) to avoid the question of race in this discussion. The inescapable fact is that the protest is about race, and the claim by the protestors that there is unequal treatment by police based upon race. That is what they are calling attention to, not objection to the flag or the national anthem. How can you not discuss race when the protest is about race and racism? If they had said we are objecting to the flag your point would be valid and it would be inappropriate for me (and others) to bring race into the discussion, or to point out that as white people we often miss the significance of race in the lives of our darker skinned brothers and sisters. But they are not protesting the flag, or meaning to disrespect it. I get that you think their protest, which involves the flag and the anthem, is disrespectful and we can have a respectful and meaningful disagreement about that. But to ignore the racial element of this situation is just plain silly. Similarly, it is entirely appropriate to talk about the President in this conversation as he is the one who ignited the controversy by calling American citizens “sons of bitches”. By the way, as a Christian and an American I am offended by his language and by his disrespectful name-calling of the very people he has been honored to serve. Finally, I would like to challenge your statement that “people fought and died for that flag”. The flag is a symbol, and an important one, but I believe people fought and died not for the symbol but for what it represents, which includes the first amendment right to peacefully protest, even if we do not agree with their message. That is what makes America great, not the flag.

    • jay Helman  says:

      To interpret the protest as a protest solely against the flag misses the whole point; and this is the point that Trump is missing. The protests ARE against the outrageous, and blatant, bigotry of Trump and his followers, and the impact those views have on their lives as people of color who are not like Trump and followers. Did Obama make mistakes? Of course. People did not “take a knee” during his time because he did not endorse white supremicists, favor Putin to democratic and sensible leaders, appoint dishonest and greedy Cabinet members who burned taxpayers with outlandish travel costs, etc. True, people fought and died for what our flag represents—-and now other people are protesting a whole slew of bad, evil actors (e.g. Trump and appointees) who are working overtime and insidiously to UNDO all that those noble heroes fought to protect. The horror, from my view, is not those who are kneeling; it is the reasons they are kneeling (traced directly to Trumpism) that is the horror. Take a peak at AG Jeff Sessions and now at his likely replacement as the Senator from Alabama. Their sick views will quell any shame or disgust felt for those protesting the views of these men.

  • Lisa  says:

    David – Respectfully I’m more confused than ever. From what you wrote the protester(s) have nothing against our flag and you state the protest is all about race and police, etc – yet they are choosing to protest at the same time we are supposed to all be standing and respecting our flag. Why? They have ever right to protest, but pick the right forum. Sports fans are paying money to see a game, not going to a protest that doesn’t even have anything to do with sports. Actions speak louder than words – kneeling during the anthem is showing extreme disrespect.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      You want an ideal world, Lisa, where color matters as little to everyone else as it does to you. I understand that. So do I.

      But we are not there.

      We are not there.

      And until we are, the best thing for us for whom color has not been an impediment in our lives is to listen hard and closely, with open minds and hearts, to those for whom it has been.

      I will turn again to another combat veteran, a white Marine, who speaks from his own heart here:

      Its final paragraph:

      “In the words of Army veteran Jason Kander, ‘Patriotism isn’t about making everyone stand and salute the flag. Patriotism is about making this a country where everyone wants to.’ Or from West Virginia v. Barnette, 1943, ‘Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.’”

    • jay Helman  says:

      Oh my, I just read your latest post on disrespect, Lisa. Truly, I get how you are seeing this and do want to appear to be on the attack. If I am attacking; it is our President and his cronies that I am after. I am deeply appalled that the U.S. President shows support for KKK white supremacists, the Confederate flag (which sought to destroy and replace our flag) and all the myriad things that the President and his rabid followers are doing to destroy democracy and the values that sensible people have long held. And, he and his people do all of this while blaming and pointing fingers at others. Please, please for the sake of all that you so passionately argue in favor of, take a close look at this and give it your full consideration.

  • jay Helman  says:

    correction, do Not want to appear on the attack.

  • Lisa  says:

    My only reason for joining this discussion was to state my opinion about the flag. Not to discuss race or our President Trump or get into any debates. So I bow out at this point and says thanks again Andy for letting me voice my opinion. Have a great weekend everyone, Lisa (aka deplorable)

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Thanks, Lisa. You’ve stimulated lots of good, impassioned thinking and conversation. A public service! :-)

  • jay Helman  says:

    Thank you, Lisa, for generating this discussion. By the way I,and I suspect others on this thread, would never think about you, or label you, as “deplorable: though, for me, I cannot say the same for our President and several of his appointees. Thanks again.

    • David Moriah  says:

      Ditto all that!

Leave a Reply