Nothing more needs to be said about the cowardly and calculated attacks launched by Trump on individual NFL and NBA players. But it’s hard not to be shocked by the deliberate appeal to racial hatred—we know all about those traitorous bastards.
However, the main subject here is the attack on the NFL itself and what’s behind that one. For anyone who has somehow managed to escape it, here is the quote:
“Today if you hit too hard—15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television—his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.”
The first thing about this quote is that it was not made up off-the-cuff; he told exactly the same story a year ago so he knows what he is saying. In that case he made the conclusion explicit: the problem with the NFL is that “it’s become soft and our country has become soft.”
What does that actually mean? He is asserting that it shows our moral superiority as a nation if one of our most widely-watched activities is a spectacle in which people are maimed for life. Why would he say that? Part of it may be cultural I suppose, but not all of it. In this particular context he’s talking about working conditions and attitudes of viewers. There should be no constraints on what people are asked to do, and it shows weakness to care about it.
The “working conditions” comment is not far-fetched. This is exactly what is proposed for OSHA—businesses should be able to get away with whatever they deem necessary. Bosses should tell workers what has to be done, and workers need to be tough enough to go do it. It’s like the army. Of course you’re going to be shot at—stop being a sissy.
But implications go farther than that. The latest event at the EPA was the nomination of Michael Dourson–whose career has been spent helping businesses fight restrictions on toxic compounds in consumer goods—as lead chemical regulator for the EPA. We the public need to suck up that pollution stuff and be tough too. Business needs to be able to do what is necessary to get the job done. If anyone gets in the way it’s because “our country has become soft.”
It’s a great world where you can order people around, and anyone who doesn’t agree is a traitor or a sissy. There are people with a lot of money trying to make it happen. If we don’t watch out they will.