Monday, September 25, 2017

Trump's attack against pro athletes moves Filipino American football player to speak out

OAKLAND RAIDERS / INSTAGRAM
A majority of the Oakland Raiders chose to remain seated during the National Anthem.

SCORES OF professional football players literally and figuratively took a knee Sunday. 

Last week there were four players taking a knee and a couple of others raising their fists. Yesterday, there were hundreds of players taking a knee, locking their arms in a show of unity or staying in the locker room while the anthem played.

The players were responding to Donald Trump's mocking the players who do not stand during the playing of the National Anthem as a form protest against the inequality in the U.S. criminal justice system.

 At a rally in Alabama last Friday, Trump said, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired!"
RELATED: Asian American doctor takes a knee against Trump
His remarks was met with a storm of criticism from players, owners and sportscasters, including Filipino/American Doug Baldwin, the Seattle Seahawks' wide receiver. In a prepared statement, Baldwin said:

"I'm not surprised by Trump's comments. He has shown since the beginning, his dehumanized nature. To think he would be anything different ti to not know the reality of his presidency ... He acts like a child craving attention and any attention will do."


Doug Baldwin in a post-game press conference.
The Seahawks were playing at the home of the Tennessee Titans. When the "Star Spangled Banner" was sung, they chose to remain in the locker room.

During a post-game press conference, Baldwin continued to elaborate: "This is a dangerous time. We (players) recognize that.

"We're hoping to unite all people, of all races, all religions, all beliefs to come together; to realize the severity of the situation."  He went on to say that the U.S. was founded in protest and that the freedom of expression is one of the country's core beliefs.

"I'm calling on our people and our country (to realize) that this is greater than just football. This is greater than this Sunday evening's entertainment."

The protest against Trump's racist and anti-immigrant remarks spread beyond football. Over the weekend, catcher Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics baseball team began kneeling on one knee to express his views. He was the first baseball player join the protest.


Last Friday, during the NBA's media day, Stephen Curry, one of the star basketball players in the NBA's World Champion Golden State Warriors, expressed that if Trump followed tradition and invited the championship team to the White House, he would not visit because he did not agree with Trump's views on race, his reluctance to condemn the white supremacists demonstrating in Charlottesville and his policies against immigrants.

In response, Trump tweeted that he would not invite the team to the White House because of Curry's comments.

The African/American basketball players in the professional basketball league, including some of the biggest names in the sport responded almost unanimously in their criticism of Trump and his views on race. 

Cleveland Cavaliers player LaBron James, who some say is the best basketball player in the world, was particularly outspoken and didn't mince words in expressing his distaste for Trump's positions on race.



A few hours after his tweet, James, expanded his comments in a video. "I think it's basically at a point where I'm a little frustrated, man, because this guy that we've put in charge has tried to divide us once again" James said via his digital company platform Uninterrupted. "Obviously we all know what happened with Charlottesville and the divide that caused. Now it's hit home more for me because he's now using sports as the platform to try and divide us."

The Warriors' management, on Saturdaya in support of its star and in response to Trump's decision to not invite the team, said, “In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values that we embrace as an organization.”


Derrick Coleman, Atlanta Falcon's fullback, reminded his followers that the controversy is not about the flag or the anthem. Kaepernick



What about Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback that started the kneel down during the national anthem? He still remains unsigned because of a suspected blackballing for NFL owners.

When he began the protest last year as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, he explained:
I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.
This stand wasn’t for me. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.
It’s something that can unify this team. It’s something that can unify this country. If we have these real conversations that are uncomfortable for a lot of people. If we have these conversations, there’s a better understanding of where both sides are coming from.
I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.
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