LEANING RIGHT--Lots of us hate what the Orange Man says, does, tweets, or proposes...but there ARE a few things that many (maybe most) Americans hate even more than our President. Some of these things include North Korea, ISIS, gangbangers, human traffickers ... and ... oh yeah:
Americans hate overpaid millionaire and billionaire football players and owners who have long prison rap sheets, are the worst kind of the role models to our youths, arm-twist taxpayers to pay for their stadiums, overcharge and abandon their fans on a moment's notice, and don't seem to understand when or how they're disrespecting our Armed Forces and First Responders.
I doubt I'm the only person who grew up watching football religiously every Sunday and on Monday night, and I doubt I'm the only person who grew up loving my favorite football team (for me it was America's Team, the Cowboys, even though I grew up in SoCal and earned the scorn of my classmates who wanted me to love the hapless, perpetually losing Rams).
And I also doubt that I'm the only person who absolutely LOVED the Dodgers and the Lakers, and didn't miss pro football one whit when the Rams bailed on L.A. and moved to St. Louis (and THEN you decided to get good and win the Super Bowl, you losers?).
Taxpayer funds for a new team and stadium so that billionaire team owners could get a free ride? Cozying up to poorly-educated, inarticulate thugs paid millions of dollars to do WHAT now? All this for football?
And I also doubt that I'm the only person who worshipped Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela, Magic Johnson, Michael Cooper, James Worthy et al as role models, and became troubled as they were replaced by narcissistic and disruptive, tantrum-prone individuals like Kobe Bryant (thanks for driving away Shaq and Karl Malone, and dragging the Lakers into the sewer, Kobe!).
So as the NFL became "What the Hell?" I stopped giving a rip looong before Colin Kaepernick became a police-insulting jackass, and looooooooong before ESPN began a head-shaking lurch to the Left.
Because...hey...it's "obvious" that football-loving, meat-eating, hard-hitting men and women hate the "racist" police and armed forces enough to disrespect the flag.
It's "obvious" that those watching (or...maybe NOT watching anymore) football are Social Justice Warriors who ignore the fact that men and women without limbs and lives gave EVERYTHING for the flag, and would LOVE to stand for the flag...if they could stand at all.
And it's "obvious" that those otherwise-prone to watching football would (perhaps) wonder what sort of next generation of people would be that were prone to spitting on, and screaming at, those returning from the Vietnam War. Or at the police, who are increasingly being under attack and dying after years of being broad-brushed as racist killers.
So ... let's go ahead, try to make the overpaid, millionaire football players and their billionaire owners into the next generation of Martin Luther King's because of President's Trump's crass manner of attacking those not standing for the flag.
By all means, let's take the side of the Pittsfield Steelers' leadership for opposing offensive tackle (and former Army Ranger, and Afghanistan veteran) Alejandro Villanueva's decision to stand for the flag while the other team remained in the locker room during the national anthem(LINK: ).
And while we're at it, let's ignore the police unions who took the side of Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson because he wanted to wear a pair of cleats honoring those who died on 9/11 (including the First Responders...remember?), because the police are "bad" and ... so is honoring 9/11!
And don't forget to unleash our fury at the Indianapolis Colts for cutting a player for kneeling for the national anthem, or at Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboy leadership who threatened to fire anyone who failed to stand for the National Anthem.
And go ahead, Yahoo! Rip on the Cincinnati Bengals for telling their players to focus on sports and not social issues. By all means, Yahoo, call the Bengals "weak" ... and don't waste your time reading those offended by your article and responding in the "comments" section because, well, they're just idiots.
And don't forget to deride the NASCAR owners who sided with the President on this issue, because they probably don't have IQ's that venture into the triple digits, and are probably lucky to have a full set of teeth, right?
Because the same Orange Man who referred to anyone kneeling during the anthem while doing a speech to Alabama voters as a "son-of-a-bitch" may know one thing that the self-absorbed and overpaid NFL players and owners who, like the self-absorbed and overpaid Hollywood Elite, does not:
Lots of folks may hate the way that President Trump trash-talks, and lots of folks may hate how President Trump acts and talks in a non-presidential, non-political manner but they possibly, perhaps probably, hate one group of people more ...
... and that group would be the very same NFL players and owners who for years, perhaps decades, have been alienating and disgusting everyday Americans by their actions and their overcharging fans and taxpayers.
So ... while it's probably safe to say that President Trump could have said his anti-sports league message better, or perhaps should have not said his message at all, here's one message that even the those supporting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the player-protesters cannot ignore:
NFL stocks are DOWN, NFL support and revenues are DOWN, ESPN viewership is DOWN, and attendance and viewership of NFL games are way, way, way DOWN.
But by all means, Mr. Goodell et al: Keep up the good fight. Free speech IS a right in this country, and those who died for the flag DID fight for your right to free speech.
Your fans may abandon you, but you'll have adoring Social Justice Warriors aplenty to fill their ranks. So you'll WIN, right? And WINNING is what football and professional sports is all about, right?
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at email@example.com. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)