It isn’t often that I reject a premise put forth in PowerLine. I don’t agree with them lockstep, but I can usually find some points where I agree and others where I don’t. Buth Mirengoff’s take on Trump’s recruitment of black athletes to make clemency recommendations is brilliant. He asked for their input with no promise to implement their suggestions. Trump’s-absurd-olive-branch-offer-to-NFL-protesters.
Many sports stars are leading a secret life. The public sees them on the court and at carefully arranged public appearances. There is one crowd of beautiful people attending Mario Batali’s latest restaurant opening an entirely different crowd with the star at the ghetto chicken shack at two in the morning. When it comes to kicking your shoes off, drink beer and watch b-ball on the tube, nothing beats watching with the homies from fifth grade. Some of those guys went on to be very bad people. Now they are part of an unseen entourage.
Some of these personalities know exactly what is going on. Aaron Hernandez had a choice to make, he could try to bring his gang banger friends up to his level or drop down to theirs. Have no doubts, in Aaron Hernandez screwed up world, gang banging back shooter occupies a high status than NFL star. Other players try to limit the impact of these relationships.
So now Trump is asking them to choose. This puts the sports star in a no-win situation. All his thug buddies that are incarcerated are bragging about their get out of jail free card, good old number 001/2 won’t let them down. Meanwhile, numerous sports agents are out on the ledge, “I don’t care that he sat next to you in fifth grade, he sold hundreds of kilos of crack and ordered the death of five people, including a kid in a baby carriage.” Come on guys show your true quality as a man.
Imagine, working hard to make it in the NBA and then stay in the NBA for fourteen years and upon retirement live like a bus driver because during your playing years you dealt or transported crack cocaine for your sports agent. Team planes eliminate all sorts of hassles, not all anticipated by management.
President Trump and the office he occupies deserves courtesy, if not respect. He is entitled to believe people when they indicate a head of time that they do not regard an invitation to the White House as an honor. Since that is the case, why waste the invitation?
The First Amendment is a two-way street. It requires both parties to welcome each other in an exchange of ideas or even simple pleasantries. When one party is compelled to put up with another’s bullshit because of his position the line has been crossed. Within limits, citizens may have a right to address government officials, but not always, everywhere, and at a whim.