THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, June 14, 2018
by Mike Moffett Contributing Writer
TO KNEEL OR NOT TO KNEEL I’m processing. What are we to make of combative presidents, protesting football players, and hostile media hordes? Having attended the May 21st White House celebration for NASCAR #78 racing champion Martin Truex, I’ve followed with interest the Philadelphia Eagle White House disinvitation brouhaha. President Trump rescinded his invite to the Super Bowl champions when it appeared very few of them would show up. Much of the ill will stems from Trump’s criticism of NFL players who utilized pregame national anthems as occasions for social protest. Indeed, on May 21 Trump praised NASCAR Nation for honoring the national anthem—an obvious dig at the NFL. Yes, this is kind of a dreary subject, but one that rates attention. Like so many other controversies, this largely stems from the president’s combative nature. A nontraditional politician and a brawler, Trump doesn’t mince words. His tweets and actions are often more visceral than thoughtful, but—perhaps by design— they get attention. (Witness this column!) Trump’s approach is divisive. It puts people in separate camps without much middle ground. But the reaction of his foes is equally troubling. Those adversaries automatically, routinely, and mindlessly condemn his every move. Their shrill responses ex-
Colin Kapernick pose their own biases. Psychology has its place in sports, in war, and in politics. Does New England Patriot coach Bill Belichik play mind games and get into opponents’ heads? Of course. So is there a method to Trump’s madness? Does he get into his opponents’ heads? Of course. Are these swirling controversies cleansing and helpful—or counterproductive and hurtful? I’m still processing. FREEDOM I do oppose the government mandating respect for flags, anthems, and symbols. I’d rather see 99% of a stadium crowd stand for the anthem voluntarily, than see 100% of a crowd forced to stand due to a state mandate or league requirement. Sports Quiz What pro sports team does NOT play the Star Spangled Banner before its home games? (Answer follows) Born Today ... That is to say, sports standouts born on June 14 include basketball great Sam Perkins (1961) and women’s tennis star Steffi Graf (1969). Sportsquote “I love the freedoms we got in this country, I appreciate your freedom to burn your flag if you want to, but I really appreciate my
right to bear arms so I can shoot you if you try to burn mine.” – Johnny Cash Sportsquiz Answer The NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers traditionally play “God Bless America” before each game. State Representative Michael Moffett was a Professor of Sports Management for Plymouth State University and NHTI-Concord and currently teaches on-line for New England College. He co-authored the critically-acclaimed and awardwinning “FAHIM SPEAKS: A Warrior-Actor’s Odyssey from Afghanistan to Hollywood and Back” (with the Marines)—which is available through Amazon.com. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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