By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Hear me out...'Oh boy'

A few thoughts on Trump vs. the NFL


September 30, 2017


That's right it's time to talk about the crazy underrated early '90s TV show "Quantum Leap", a time traveling show staring Scott Bakula as the protagonist Dr. Sam Beckett.

Beckett was a part of a time traveling experiment gone wrong and throughout the show he's trying to get back to his time. But every time he "leaps" he's in someone else's body and has to right a wrong during that time. After each leap, when he realized he wasn't in his body or time, he uttered his catch phrase "Oh boy!"

This could be the nostalgia talking but it was an awesome show, and with all the rebooted TV series happening, how this isn't at the top of the list is insane? They brought "Nightrider" back for crying out loud.

Now, how does this relate to sports?

It doesn't. Come on you know what's coming.

Yes I am going to wade into the debate that is consuming all of sports right now, Trump vs. the NFL – To Kneel or not to Kneel.

Originally, I wanted to have this column out earlier in the week but it was too fiery. So after having the week to digest and listen to as many possible takes as possible here are my thoughts.

There are two okie-doakes happening right now during this NFL vs. Trump story.

First up is the okie-doak being done by the Mad Tweeter, The Divider of Nations, Nothing's my fault, Donald J. Trump. (For the snowflake Trump supporters who can't handle criticism of their guy, it's going to get a bit rougher from here so take this part off. No one wants you to have an aneurysm over the weekend.)

We're 253 days into the Trump presidency and while I did not vote for the guy, I get the appeal of wanting an outsider; someone who can shake things up and get Washington back to work for the people.

Unfortunately, we haven't seen any of that at any point from Trump during his time in office. He's yet to make any serious ground on his agenda and his master negotiator skills have been M.I.A., in fact his "best deal" to this point has been with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Eeww.

The investigation surrounding his campaign is tightening and no matter how much he screams "fake news" or "witch-hunt" the indictments soon to be handed out are going to be very real.

The one thing Trump has been excellent at is trolling. That's his best skill and he knows how to play it to his benefit. Anytime he trolls someone or organization he pulls our dog-like attention off the noteworthy stories like the Mueller investigation, Russia actively trying to create division on our nation, Puerto Rico or North Korea.

This time he goes after the NFL for players kneeling during the anthem in protest for the injustice and inequality people of color experience (Not a protest of the flag or nation), which was dying out before he rekindled it.

Plain and simple this is all a distraction by Trump, while I disagree with a lot of his agenda, it's within his right to give his take on the protest. But for him to continue to put this ahead of running the country proves that he's trying to pull a Wizard of Oz on us. "Whatever you do, do not look behind the curtain!"

Here's a hot take, I believe Trump does not give a damn about football players kneeling during the anthem. For his outsider hype, he's basically your run-of-the-mill politician. Numbers are down, so he has to do something to re-energize the base.

Trump claims players kneeling are showing disrespect to our armed services men and women, our flag and our country. If that is true, which it isn't, how were his comments to the Gold Star family, the Khans, respectful? Or his remarks about John McCain being a POW (A man who wouldn't leave the POW camp until every American was released), how was that respectful?

The excuse for Trump is that those people hurt his feelers and he can defend himself. True, but if he absolutely respects our country and armed service men and women, like he claims, you wouldn't belittle a family whose son gave his life for this country or McCain who stood with his brothers-in-arms even when he had a chance to leave.

You take the L and move on, but that's not Trump. It's all about him and it's why even though he's dropped the ball during his time in office, which happens to every president at some point, he just can't accept the reason he's lagging behind is because of himself.

As frustrating as it is, I do slightly enjoy the hypocrisy going on both sides. For the left it was when Obama spoke, everything said was perfect and he's the president and it's his right. Now that Trump, aka not their guy, is in he has to watch what he says because he's the president as they wail and gnash their teeth.

On the other side is the right, who wailed and gnashed their teeth at each word Obama uttered, claiming it to be divisive and government control. But now that their dude is running the show, and been divisive, it's not divisiveness or government control because he's speaking "truths" and also the president has the right to say what he wants.

All of this proves we're in the age of dumb liberalism and dumb conservatism. It's not about supporting ideals, it's about supporting your team and your person. When you sign on to "the team" you have to be all in with the agenda set by a bunch of people who put their interest ahead of the country's. Gone are the days of nuance, it was bludgeoned to death by a bunch of blowhards who we decided to give the keys to the house.

Part two of the okie-doak is being pulled by the NFL owners. The stones displayed by the 32 during Week 3 deserves a tip of the hat. I'm more frustrated with them than Trump, but, damn, was the move they pulled move savvy. Most of them were against Kaepernick taking a knee and the protest when it started and 28 of them gave money to Trump, during the campaign or inauguration. Which is fine and their right, not arguing against that.

Where it was particularly frustrating is that the 32 basically hijacked the protest, changing it from injustice and inequality to owner-and-player-unity because someone told them what to do.

Initially, I thought there's no way the owners would be that spineless, but I was wrong. They acted just like a kid in the school yard telling another kid "you can't tell me what to do!"

That's why Sunday felt watered down and it comes as no surprise why teams are already coming out and saying they're no longer "protesting." The 32 are already backing down. I'm not saying they have to go kneel or lock arms with their players, but if they didn't believe in what was happening to begin with don't go down, just release a Swedish-like statement condemning Trump's words/tweets.

As spineless as the owners were, none, not even Jerry Jones, topped Ray Lewis. Whose explanation for kneeling was an all-time pathetic, lukewarm, cowardly response to why he decided to join the Ravens in London. Google it because it's something you have to see to actually believe. An amoeba has more rigidity than Lewis, I always knew he was a charlatan along the lines of Joel Osteen.

For the protest itself, the actual protest not the garbage one, I'm all for it. It speaks to what's great about this country and sparks debate. Now if we had any nuance we could have constructive debates around all of this, all the more why we need to resurrect it.

The protest is about bringing attention to the injustices and inequality experienced by people of color, and that racism is still alive. Just because Obama was elected it does not mean it's done. Yes, we've come a long way since the Civil Rights movement, which was unfavorable in the general public's eyes at the time, but why settle for good enough?

I've never experienced direct racism. There was a time I dealt with indirect racism when I was on a mission trip in Missouri as a teenager helping build a church. I was mudding and overheard some high-ranking church members speak about how mixed-raced children shouldn't exist and it's better if everyone stuck to their own races. Now being of mixed race, my biological father was Puerto Rican and African-American, I was doing just well. So I walked over to them and calmly let them know I was doing fine as a mutt.

The fear, dread, shame and nervousness on their faces, still makes me laugh today. The panic was hilarious because they thought I'd tell my parents, my dad is a pastor and was one of the mission leaders, I mean I did, but it wasn't to drop the hammer on them. It was just to let my parents know that I didn't respect those people anymore.

What I experienced was coming from, deacons, a pastor, a treasurer, all of whom were leaders in their respective churches. Not all racism is going to be Nazis marching or play out like a scene from "Mississippi Burning" there is nuances (there's that word again).

Seattle WR Doug Baldwin explained the protest in full during a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper. Baldwin was brilliant in doing so. He wasn't calling for vindictive actions against cops. He was asking for better education programs and programs like D.A.R.E. to be given more prominence. Things 99 percent of us would agree on implementing.

Like I said last year when Kaepernick first knelt, loyalty to a country must be earned. For a nation to demand loyalty of its citizens, that's better reserved for Turkey, Russia, Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (never gets old typing that), China and the sorts. Liberty was the driving force for this country in its birth and is its heart, it's why we stuck the landing on our revolution and France blew out their knee.

The men and women who are kneeling are doing so to speak up for those who don't have a voice. Yes, they make a lot of money, but why should that negate what they have to say? The 'stay in your lane' logic is flawed, it's like saying because you're a plumber you can't have an opinion on anything not related to plumbing; so if it doesn't involve a duce in the urinal, pipe down. What that logic really says is, I'm envious of your position, stature in society and money.

I'm not here to say you should watch the NFL or kneel with the players. The point is our country is awesome because of liberty, not because of loyalty. So enjoy your weekend watching the NFL or not, or maybe watching reruns of "Quantum Leap."


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