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Alejandro Villanueva

Our sainted media continue to act like the Democrat operative-with-byline jackasses they are. As John Hinderaker at Powerline reports, at a Monday press conference at the White House, press vultures were all but unable to ask about anything other than football, yet their narrative was President Trump was responsible for keeping the story alive. How dare he criticize saintly football players! Why, that criticism makes it impossible for anyone to think or talk about anything else!

More and more, the NFL special snowflakes are sounding and behaving like adolescent revolutionaries. Few, if any, are articulate, nor have they expressed a coherent cause. Their view of human nature and the world seems to have been formed by that single class they took their freshman year in college where a radical communist professor taught social justice and racial division rather than the discipline he was hired to teach. Considering many of them dropped out of college in favor of the NFL, no wonder they know so little about the issues they purportedly care so deeply about. This has obviously left them with a very narrow and shallow view of life, which they now seem desperate to inflict on everyone else. They also seem incapable of expressing their “protest,” in any place or time other than football stadiums, on game days, and when the National Anthem is playing. Odd coincidence, that.

credit: Chris Muir daybydaycartoon

According to them, America is an irredeemably racist nation, her police bent on the destruction of young black men. This is not, according to them, a new phenomenon, yet their kneeling, special snowflake protests are new. Have they just now discovered the issue? Been unaware of their cruel oppression until now? Or perhaps they’ve had to eagerly wait for the inspiration of Saint Kaepernick, The Radioactive?

Another essential part of the current progressive, useful idiot narrative is the special snowflakes are merely exercising their right to free speech, and because most of them are black, such exercise is not only highly patriotic, it is very nearly holy. How dare President Trump—or anyone—suggest they should or could be punished for their exercise of free speech!

In this case, President Trump is entirely correct. The players can be not only punished, but fired. The First Amendment does not protect them. The only thing protecting them is the anti-American tendencies and utter spinelessness of their coaches and team owners. Gregg Jarrett, an attorney, of Fox News, explains: 

The First Amendment does not protect National Football League players from being fired.

The Constitution’s freedom of expression applies only to government action, not private businesses.

The First Amendment states, ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.’  It says nothing about private action or reaction.  Thus, it is a public misconception that free speech or expression extends to the workplace.  It does not, as the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled.

Any business, as long as it is not connected to the government, is entitled to fire an employee for his or her speech and conduct within the workplace. The NFL and its teams are privately owned.  They are not constrained by the principles of the First Amendment.

This is nothing new. It’s not an evil scheme trumped up by Trump. In fact, the actual NFL contract, negotiated by the player’s union, reflects this constitutional reality:

But beyond the Constitution, contract law allows any NFL team to terminate any player for behavior it deems to be injurious to the organization or the league.

Every professional player must sign the standard NFL player contract.  In it, the player promises as follows:

‘To conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game’ (Paragraph 2). ‘If player has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by the Club to adversely affect or reflect on the Club, then the Club may terminate this contract. (Paragraph 11).

What this means is simple: team owners have a great deal of discretion in deciding what adversely affects the Club. But wait; there’s more:

The collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the players’ union and approved by the players themselves authorizes suspension or termination ‘for conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football’ (Article 46).

Of course, the force and effect of these contract articles depends on the integrity of football team owners and management, a commodity seemingly in short supply these days. Thus far, wife beating, rampant drug use, and even felony level criminality have not been uniformly deemed “detrimental to the integrity” of football, which says as much about the state of professional football as it does about team owners, management and players. Dishonoring America and most of professional football’s fans may not even scratch the surface of this kind of willful ignorance.

In NFL Arrogance, I lauded former West Point graduate and Army Ranger Captain Alejandro Villanueva for standing alone in honoring the flag while his team—the Pittsburg Steelers—bravely and manfully cowered off the field during the national anthem. Not only was his act of integrity widely lauded, his football jersey immediately rocketed to the top of the nationwide sales charts. This should have provided a valuable clue for his invertebrate coach–who held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign–fellow players, and team owner, yet as John Belushi used to say: “but noooooooooooo!” Fox News reports:

The only member of the Pittsburgh Steelers to take the field for the anthem now says he regrets his actions and apologized to his teammates and coach Monday. [skip]

‘Unfortunately I threw my teammates under the bus, unintentionally,’ Villanueva said in a press conference Monday. ‘Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself I feel embarrassed.’ [skip]

‘I’ve made the Steelers look bad, and that is my fault and my fault only,’ Villanueva said. He also apologized to coach Mike Tomlin and the rest of the team.

How have we come to this? A decorated Army Ranger, a man who proved himself under fire, reduced to this little measure? It takes scant imagination to play back Villanueva’s chat with Coach Mike Tomlin after the game. I somehow suspect Tomlin’s language was somewhat more colorful than the single term used—to the faux-horror of the media and other progressives—by Mr. Trump.

Actually, it was the Pittsburg Steelers and their cowardly coach that threw Villanueva under the bus. He did not make them look bad, their un-American, shamefully spineless conduct did. The fault is absolutely not his; it’s theirs. The only people that should be embarrassed are Villanueva’s teammates cowering in the tunnel as the National Anthem was performed. I don’t blame Villanueva for his recantation of what was the correct, expected, moral, American thing to do. He is falling on a grenade for his team. The issue is, his team, and the rest of the NFL, threw the grenade in the first place.

And what about Villanueva’s free speech rights? Is the NFL now prejudiced against Hispanics?

Fans recognize this, and they’re not thrilled with the Steelers, as The NY Post reports:

We bleed black and gold here,’ said Sean Parnell, a Pittsburgh native and former US Army Airborne Ranger who served in the legendary 10th Mountain Division for six years, retiring as a captain. [skip]

‘As a Pittsburgher, the team abstaining from taking the field during the national anthem was crushing to me for a few reasons. I come from a family that is Pittsburgh through and through — three generations. My grandfather worked as an usher at Forbes Field, Three Rivers and PNC Park. Loyalty to Pittsburgh sports, well, it is not just a hobby and we aren’t simply fans. It’s a way of life around these parts. We hold our athletes and owners to a high standard. And on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers failed to meet that standard. And not just one or two players, but the entire franchise, from owner on down.’ [skip]

Parnell said players put their protest of President Donald J. Trump and his comments about the NFL above the American tradition of honoring the flag.

‘Watching Alejandro Villanueva stand by himself, honoring our nation and flag highlighted the pain and isolation so many veterans feel here at home,’ he said.

‘Men and women that volunteer to serve this nation stand on a very thin line between hope and darkness. They watch their friends die in service to a country that they love. A place that they themselves would die for. Then they come home to a country where in some cases they feel like exiles, surrounded by citizens that don’t truly understand what they have, or what freedom truly is, or what it takes to protect and defend it.

One wonders how many of the special snowflakes that bravely denigrated the symbols of that sacrifice understand that—or care.

One additional issue, gentle readers. Regular readers surely know the Black Lives Matter/Antifa protests are entirely politically motivated, and based on lies. The invaluable Heather MacDonald explains, yet again, why:

The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 today, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.  Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide-victim total to 7,881. Those 7,881 ‘black bodies,’ in the parlance of Ta-Nehisi Coates, are 1,305 more than the number of white victims (which in this case includes most Hispanics) for the same period, though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population. The increase in black homicide deaths last year comes on top of a previous 900-victim increase between 2014 and 2015.

Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks. In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The Post categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as ‘unarmed.’ That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest. Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers—committed vastly and disproportionately by black males. Among all homicide suspects whose race was known, white killers of blacks numbered only 243.

This is why the media—and fellow leftists—have painted MacDonald controversial and have called her a white supremacist and racist: she tells the truth and can prove it. One can, and should, be concerned about individual cases where police officers have overstepped their reasonable boundaries. I regularly take such officers to task, but also defend the reasonable and innocent. However, leftism exists only on false outrage, lies and ignorance.

It does not matter if a criminal was “unarmed” in deadly force encounters as long as a reasonable police officer would have believed they presented an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to them or another. Race doesn’t enter into this calculus unless an officer is drawing on his experience to realize when he is confronting a young, black male, he is much more likely to potentially be facing deadly danger than when he is confronting an elderly white female. For an officer working a black, high-crime area of a major city, it is certainly not profiling for him to believe the young black males he contacts are potentially violent criminals.

One must also keep in mind the “Idindonuffin” factor. In the current political climate, it is not only easy, it’s praised when black criminals claim absolute innocence when police officers stop, or even speak to, them. The Media is all too willing to believe two legged predators, and to consider police officers guilty until they prove themselves innocent. This contributes to tragically mistaken, uninformed beliefs.

The facts are clear: police officers are not responsible for the death toll among young black men; other young black men are. Blacks comprise a substantial set of the criminal classes, numbers far out of proportion to their population distribution. White people are not driving them to do crime; their own dysfunctional culture, in large part enabled and encouraged by decades of progressive policies, and bad personal choices, are.

Of course, none of this makes for satisfying, violent, irrational progressive policy or protests, to say nothing of virtue signaling, so the NFL special snowflakes continue to be useful idiots and persist in winnowing the fan base that makes their exorbitant salaries and perks possible.

Finally, let us visit Legal Insurrection, where we meet one Dr. Eugene Gu, a man nobly opposing white supremacy:

I’ve often written about the importance of words. Dr. Gu is clearly a Progressive Asian Doctor. He is not a doctor who happens to be Asian and Progressive. That makes all the difference, just as there is a clear difference between a black police officer and a police officer who happens to be black, or a black football player and a football player who happens to be black. In every case, their ethnic/racial identify and loyalty is far more important than their professional obligations, and determines their ideals and actions.

I suspect that I, like you, would not be comfortable being treated by a physician who considers me a white supremacist, and who identifies, before all else, as an Asian and a Progressive. Such people tend to be quite unable to put aside their political beliefs because they are their political beliefs. They inform everything they think and do.

One wonders if Dr. Gu’s coming out of the closet, so to speak, at this particular point in time, is a result of the special snowflakes of the NFL? Is it time to rise up against the white supremacy that built the medical schools Dr. Gu attended? Should he disavow the scientific knowledge provided by white supremacists? Should he refuse to work in the buildings and use the drugs and medical equipment provided by the dominant, white American culture, the racists that honor the American flag and National Anthem?

Oh yes, and why should anyone of good will and common sense enrich a physician, or football players, that so obviously and proudly hate them and their beliefs?

And do I need, gentle readers, to explain how incredibly dumb this is?

The young woman in the photo was reportedly its inspiration. Whether the officers were tricked, or went along out of BLM/Antifa/NFL—interesting how the NFL has aligned itself with anti-American, criminal elements—sentiment is unknown, but the officers face potential departmental charges because they were on duty at the time, and police officers are never allowed to engage in political expression on the job. Could they have been so dense as to think this gesture–or anything they could possibly do–would cause NFL special snowflakes and their fellow travelers to appreciate police officers?

Are we now doing little but waiting to see how far the Left will push the disintegration of our common civil culture before outright warfare becomes inevitable? And if so, where’s the breaking point?