What does it imply to be an NFL participant in 2017? To Washington Post sports activities author Adam Kilgore this season has been like no different 12 months, as politics ensnared professional soccer gamers and philanthropy motivated them. He targeted on one participant in specific — Chris Long, whose charity is laudable and whose criticism of President Trump is gold to left-stream sports activities media.
The son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, Chris Long has earned greater than $40 million in his NFL profession. He was a member of the 2016 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, however he boycotted the White House celebration for the staff.
Long (at left in ) has performed with Philadelphia this season and helps Eagles’ teammate and protester Harold Jenkins (middle in ) by inserting a hand on his shoulder in the course of the nationwide anthem. He admits he advantages from white privilege.
Long admires former President Obama and calls him “somebody I have a lot of respect for, just the class that he carried himself with as the face of our nation.” Long strongly disapproves of President Trump, particularly due to the August violence in Charlottesville, his hometown.
The Charlottesville native believes President Trump whiffed on the tragedy that happened in Charlottesville final summer season. Kilgore and Long view that occasion by way of the identical liberal lens. Kilgore describes the August mayhem in Virginia as one in every of “rallies by white nationalists and supremacists” and he assigns no guilt to the violent anti-fascist facists for the ugly conflict that resulted in the loss of life of a girl:
“A right-wing rally in Charlottesville had turned violent and deadly. Trump later assessed responsibility to bad actors ‘on both sides’ of the conflict. Viewing images and news stories, Long felt violated.”
Long touts the left-wing narrative on Charlottesville and says President Trump whiffed in his response. ”That day, I believed if there have been a chance for any person to redeem himself and step up, boy, he failed miserably. For me, I simply sat in my automobile that evening and watched his absolute swing-and-a-miss, and it damage for folks in this nation who really feel that means regularly. I used to be like: you already know what? I already know all these things exists. Why hasn’t it been sufficient for me to behave extra earlier than Charlottesville? I all the time needed to be supportive of my friends. I felt indignant.”
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Kilgore writes Long “put his money behind his words.” Long donated his first six sport checks to instructional packages in and round Charlottesville. Kilgore does not make a tie-in to the NFL protests and Charlottesville to Long’s charitable giving. And it is not like this 12 months’s NFL gamers — protesters and non-protesters alike — are the primary to donate to worthy causes, and even to liberal causes.
The variety of gamers protesting the nationwide anthem was modest till September when President Trump known as them ”sons of bitches.” By late fall, Kilgore writes, “politicians used player demonstrations in campaign ads as a culture-war signal. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who started the national anthem protest movement in 2016 — donated $1 million to social causes while NFL owners chose not to employ him. Long’s year reflected those themes.”
The themes of protests and philanthropy are disconnected from one another, although Kilgore does not word that. Protesters mentioned they have been indignant about racial inequality and police brutality. Their charitable donations have been directed at different causes which had nothing to do with the objects of the protesters’ scorn. Kaepernick donated to an abortion group, amongst different teams.
Kilgore additionally identified a Long-Kaepernick connection. Just lately, the author mentioned, Long “went on a self-described Twitter ‘thread rant’ aligning himself with Kaepernick’s views, asserting he deserves an NFL roster spot and chastising those who would use his philanthropy to denigrate Kaepernick.” I do not know who these folks could be. Many sports activities writers repeat time and again that Kaepernick is an unimaginable humanitarian for donating cash to charities.
Kilgore began by asking a query about what it means to be an NFL participant in 2017, and now I’ve one for him. What does it imply to be a sports activities author in 2017? For many, particularly these on the Washington Post, it means to champion liberal athletes with liberal causes.