If athletes like Nick Bosa support Trump they should at least be honest

first_imgReuse this content Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)Congratulations to Nick Bosa on being picked number two in the NFL Draft. You will be a great player for years to come, maybe one of the best. Big Talent! San Francisco will embrace you but most importantly, always stay true to yourself. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!April 27, 2019 NFL Share on WhatsApp Topics Support The Guardian Share via Email San Francisco 49ers Donald Trump The hypocrisy is overwhelming.Now in an interesting twist, Bosa conducted another press conference attempting to backpedal on his disparagement of Kaepernick. “I’ve learned a lot in the past few months, and I’m just ready to move forward from that, put it in the past and bring the faithful some wins,” said Bosa after he was drafted.But my message to Bosa is this: don’t go on an apology tour saying you didn’t mean what you tweeted. During my days as an NBA player, I found that teammates appreciated my views even when they disagreed with me, and we had healthy dialogues, debates and discussions. Everyone has the right to voice their disagreements on the topic you speak out on, but nobody has the right to silence or attack you personally simply because you have an opinion that differs from theirsIf you think Kaepernick is a clown, stand by it. If you think Beyoncé’s music is trash, stand by your words. If you think Black Panther was the worst movie ever, don’t go back on what you said. If you said it stand by it and own it.The same logic extends to the whole of others in America. If someone is going to be a racist, be an honest racist. If someone is going to be a white supremacist, be a proud white supremacist unlike the cowards of the past who hid behind sheets while they terrorized black communities by night. If you’re going to be a Trump supporter, get out of the closet. You don’t have to lie and you don’t have to hide. To quote Malcolm X: “I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong, than one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.” Share on Messengercenter_img comment US sports Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. In a democracy, everyone has the right to support whomever they want. They also have the right to speak out on whatever cause they choose, no matter how objectionable. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t advocate for all athletes, even the ones with positions that I disagree with.Enter Nick Bosa.The defensive end happens to be an avid supporter of Donald Trump’s MAGA brand, which he has every right to be. Yet shortly before the San Francisco 49ers selected him with the No 2 pick in last month’s NFL draft, Bosa scrambled through his Twitter feed deleting old tweets in which he took loaded swipes at Colin Kaepernick, Beyoncé and Black Panther. He also deleted follows and likes of accounts that expressed support and sympathy for white nationalists.There has been an outpouring of support for Bosa from the right for his “courage” to stand up for what he believes in and to stand “unashamed” and “unbothered” by outside forces trying to silence his freedom of speech. Indeed, Trump himself praised and congratulated Bosa not only on social media but at an actual rally, while failing to mention the player who was chosen with the No 1 overall pick: Kyler Murray. Why? Was it simply because Bosa is white and Murray is black? It’s deeper than that. Trump celebrated Bosa for the same reason that he publicly praises Tiger Woods, Jim Brown, Ray Lewis, Tom Brady and Kanye West. Because they help legitimize him. They also speak to the politics that align with his.Mind you, this is the same president who called Kaepernick and the NFL players who took a knee SOBs; who wanted fans to walk out on games if they saw players kneeling; who asked owners to cut players if they knelt. The very same conservative websites that condemned and mocked Kaepernick for leveraging his platform as an NFL player are now celebrating Bosa for doing the same.As my co-host Dave Zirin said on our weekly radio show The Collision: Where Sports and Politics Collide: “The evidence shows that a black player who expresses anti-racist ideals will find themselves blackballed from the league, like Colin Kaepernick, or harassed and drug tested repeatedly, like Eric Reid. But being not only pro-Trump but also expressing affection for the ugliest parts of Trump’s white nationalist base is a non-issue”Therein lies the problem.To the conservative right, Bosa is a patriot who loves his country while Kaepernick – who Bosa called a “clown” in a since deleted tweet – is castigated as anti-American. But, in reality, Kaepernick expressed his heartbreak and anguish after repeatedly seeing case after case of black men and women being killed by the police with no accountability. On one hand Trump tweets that the NFL should fire Kaepernick, but on the other he tells Bosa to: “Always stay true to yourself.”last_img

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