President Trump has picked the right argument in America’s Cultural War, but his BDS Movement against America’s protesting NFL, NBA, MLB athletes First Amendment ‘Freedom of Speech’ rights is totally wrong-headed. Henceforth, whenever any American athlete decides to protest during the playing of the national anthem to call attention to the nauseating extent of racism, prejudice, jingoism, sexism and xenophobia in American culture, Trump has come up with his own simplistic Boycott, Divestment & Sanction (BDS) movement to stop their mounting protests. This is in spite of the fact that the Governors of all 50 US states have already signed a declaration condemning the concept of the BDS Movement against Israel for its similar persecution of Palestinians as antithetical to American values. Trump nevertheless apparently feels such a boycott is valid when it comes to Americans, and especially Americans of color, who protest their treatment at the hands of America’s local, state, federal governments and police departments.
Trump has a suggestion for every true-blue American citizen sports fan who loves his or her country and doesn’t like it when an American athlete protests during the playing of the National Anthem by either taking a knee, sitting on the bench, raising a clenched fist, or simply standing beside a protesting team mate, with their hand resting on his or her shoulder, or locking arms, as a sign of solidarity and support. Trump says the true-blooded American fan should just immediately pack up and leave the stadium, “Just Pick Up and Leave”, he says.
Trump guarantees that if the American fans take such a simple BDS action all such protest and civil unrest will quickly stop. Trump must truly believe that in America only money talks and all other bullshit walks; that America’s troubles will end, all the discontent and heart-ache will be silenced, and things will simply return to the same old causes of all the racism, prejudice, jingoism, sexism and xenophobia that once, by Trump’s odd way of reckoning, made America great, continues to make it great and will make it even greater still again in the future.
Trump picked the right argument alright, but he’s on the losing side if he expects America to join his suggested BDS Movement against organized American sports. He may well instead have stirred up a hornet’s nest that will react in the exact opposite direction he hopes things will go.
Now, when American sports fans in the NFL, NBA and MLB see one of their respected athletes assuming some posture of non-violent protest during the playing of the national anthem, rather than leave the stadium they may instead choose to stay in the stands and – while the TV networks cameras are rolling for all America and the world to see – assume for themselves the same peaceful posture of protest in support of their brave, courageous athlete-idols on the field. As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently stated, “The NFL and our players are at their best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture.”
President Trump doesn’t get America. He either fails to understand or doesn’t care about the marked degree of discontent in the minds and hearts of many decent Americans over the direction he has chosen for the country; which continues to eat away at the soul of America and take it towards some dark, as yet unimaginable, hellish place to which no sane American patriot should ever want it to go.
Trump argues that if America’s athletes want the privilege of becoming multi-millionaires they shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them, and instead toe the official line of the duly approved form of respect for what makes America and the American Flag the great things that they are and will make them even greater still. Trump’s only seemingly facile answer for those protestors who don’t is the same answer that fascists everywhere would like to give to every whistleblower in the corporate world and government, which is to say to them, “You’re Fired!”
Unwittingly, President Trump has now offered up, on a golden platter, to every patriotic, red-blooded American what they each can do to protest against everything that Trump and his mob stand for. Imagine the spectacle of the televised scene, as the band begins to play the Star Spangled Banner, with ‘Old Glory’ waving in the wind as jet fighters soar overhead, while one after another brave, courageous athlete on the field assumes whatever chosen posture of peaceful protest while half or more of the fans in the stands begin to do likewise, with the other half of the fans looking on in horror, with glaring contempt. The corporate media and alternative press will have a field day. The thought-provoking commentary that will ensue on all sides of America’s First Amendment ‘Freedom of Speech’ debate will achieve the reaction that NFL athletes like Colin Kaepernick and Michael Bennett, NBA players like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Stephen Curry and MLB players like Bruce Maxwell hope will soon follow their lead.
Which way will American Society & Sports ultimately go? Hold on to your hats for the Donnybrook that will happen in both the stands and on the field!
Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America. It encompasses the Indigenous Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements that emerged throughout North America during the civil rights era. In addition to being a long-time activist and political organizer among his community of Lower Capilano in British Columbia, Canada, Irwin has authored over the years a number of environmental, political, cultural, spiritual articles with a special focus on Native Americans, First Nations, Australian aboriginals, Israel, Gaza, Palestine and Syria. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press. email@example.com