Mr. Trump’s feud with NFL players…

The president has managed to spin this in a way that implies that the players’ practicing their First Amendment rights are seen as unpatriotic. It was never about disrespect for the flag or national anthem, Mr. President! Another of your lies (has it been counted in that list of 1000+ lies—talk about “fake news”!). The players’ protests, initiated by Mr. Colin Kaepernick, were about racism and inequality in America, and they started as a protest against police brutality that’s a consequence of that racism. The message is so strong and universal that a German soccer team recently took a knee—the U.S. national anthem certainly wasn’t being played there.

But Mr. Trump has created his own personal spin, no matter how false it is, and the media blindly follows. The NFL owners are only eying the effect on their bottom line as some fans also swallow the president’s spin that panders to their own racism. The consequence: we have lost yet another opportunity to chip away at racism in our society and realize MLK’s dream of a colorblind America. So sad.

We shouldn’t be surprised at that loss of focus. That was Trump’s intent with his spin, and once rich owners and players got over those SOB remarks and mounting their anemic support for the protesting players, they made the treasonous decision to throw the protesting players to the wolves. The owners and their lackey Goodell have characteristics ranging from being out-of-touch with society’s ills (they’re 0.1 percenters, not 1 percenters) to making society’s ills even worse. Among the Trump-supporting deplorables (I embrace that word), the rich owners and players are among the worst. Those cheering Bannon’s hate speech have some reasons, however misguided they might be. The owners and most players are only worried about the money—they’ve got it made but they want more.

Colin Kaepernick now has a lawsuit against the NFL and its owners. More power to him. The players’ union should have had a class-action lawsuit and should launch one now. They protested in front of NFL HQ in NYC for the reasons spelled out in Mr. Kaepernick’s individual lawsuit: collusion between NFL owners to blacklist the quarterback. Thirty-nine less skilled quarterbacks have been hired since Mr. Kaepernick left the 49ers. I have personal experience with blacklisting that I won’t go into here. It’s the ugly face of government and capitalism.

“Why do players protest?” some people might ask. “They should be happy making all that money.” Well, no. The conscientious among them recognize the ills in society and want to do something about them. They often grew up suffering from that racism and inequality. They’re like ancient Roman gladiators battling in arenas because their lives depend on it—in this case, their economic lives. And with the threat of injury and CTE, who says they don’t live in danger and all that money is just hazard pay? Or, if they’re lucky enough to have been born into a middle class family, their relatives and friends are often trapped in jobs without a future while suffering the inequities of a racist society, including police brutality and an unfair justice system. At the very least, minorities in America don’t receive respect and lack the opportunities, from education to jobs.

We haven’t come much closer to realizing MLK’s dream of a colorblind society that respects individual rights and offers equal opportunity for all. That’s why players are taking a knee, Mr. President. But you’re incapable of understanding that, aren’t you? You inherited your first million—you received more that way than most people will receive in a lifetime of hard work. You’ve lived a life of privilege; you’re just a TV reality star who doesn’t understand America’s reality.

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Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press). How far would you go to recover a missing masterpiece? Have great fun this fall reading about the adventures of Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone and her paramour/sidekick, Interpol agent Bastiann van Coevorden. Esther becomes obsessed with recovering Rembrandt’s “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a painting stolen by the Nazis for Hitler’s museum. The crime-fighting duo goes after the painting and those currently possessing the painting, but the whole caper becomes much more dangerous as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens the security of Europe. With all the danger, their budding romance becomes full-blown. This book is available as an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, B&N, and Apple, and also as a print book from Amazon and your local bookstore (if they don’t have it, ask for them to order it). Check out the review and interview at Feathered Quill.

And so it goes….

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