First let me say, I am so proud of the Black athletes like, Steph Curry and Lebron James, who have spoken out since Trump made his comment about firing the players who kneel. I love it. I don’t follow sports much, so I don’t have any favorite teams, but those who responded are now some of my favorites. To me it speaks volumes about their character, about whether or not they have any integrity, if they truly care to be the role models they claim. If ever there was a time to be petty, it is now.
However as I read through the responses of the players, I also noticed this tweet by journalist and author Mark Harris which read, “Trump’s NFL stuff tonight is not trivial. It is his ethos: Owners OWN people and they should get to do what they want with their livestock.>”
“Ethos” is a Greek word meaning “character” or “custom” or for the long definition “the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution.” In other words, Harris is saying this is simply Trump’s natural way of thinking. He sees the Black players as less than human, more like farm animals.
Harris went on to tweet his (Harris’s) beliefs on how Trump sees his own rise to success versus how he (Trump) sees Black athletes being “given” opportunities to play the White man’s sports, as if these athletes did not work hard for their spots.
I found that to be utterly insulting, and decided to look a little deeper into how much time athletes spend practicing and perfecting their skills. While I could not find clear numbers for professional athletes, I did find this study by the NCAA for student athletes ( and of course many go on to be pros).
As you can see from the chart, they can put in just as many hours as a part time to full time worker, so they have not been given anything. They earned it. Furthermore, let’s not forget to mention the wear and tear they place on their bodies that often lead to other health conditions down the line. I’m not trying to act like they are not well compensated. I would love to be making as much, but I think as we all age, we realize our health really is our wealth, or at least a big part of it. The new studies taking place on consequences and concerns of concussions are scary.
But obviously, this means nothing to Trump if he sees the players as livestock, which are assets to farm owners. But why is Trump commenting on a private enterprise at a rally for a senator anyway?
Who would ever think that in 2017, we would have a president comparing his constituents to animals? For those who wonder why African Americans are still mad and talking about slavery and racism or why people are talking about boycotting the NFL, Trump’s statement revealed a lot about the thought process of his “Make America great again” clan.
While I will not be watching today, I will be looking as I am online to see how things go.