In a conference call with the commissioners of major league sports Saturday, President Donald Trump expressed optimism that professional sports can safely resume by late summer. A critic at Deadspin sports blog, Carron J. Phillips, calls that a swing and a miss by a desperate, impeached president who has no interest in the welfare of African American athletes.
On Saturday, the White House pool report stated: “The president recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces, and fan bases across the nation. The commissioners thanked President Trump for his national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry. President Trump encouraged them to continue to support their fellow Americans during this challenging time.”
"You can smell the desperation from the Oval Office," Phillips responded. It was a desperation shot by the president, his execution was flawed, he swung for the fences and whiffed.
Phillips writes, "The irony is beyond laughable. But this is a moment in which nothing is funny":
"When Colin Kaepernick took a knee in 2016 all because he wanted police to stop killing black people, the country changed, literally. Trump called him a 'son of a bitch,' and wanted every player who participated in the peaceful protest out of the league.
"Laura Ingraham told black athletes to 'shut up and dribble.'
"Because people love to be entertained by black people but have no interest in their well-being."
Trump is just an impeached president who has failed at protecting America during a global pandemic, Phillips charges. So he'll try anything. "And that’s what Saturday’s conference call was. An attempt to throw spaghetti against the wall to see if it sticks, only to watch it fall to the kitchen counter."
That's also what Phillips is doing: throwing various criticisms at the president to see what sticks. He dredges up events unrelated to the coronavirus, like President Trump going to a World Series game in D.C. and a UFC fight and getting booed. For events when there were no boos, like the college football games Trump attended in Georgia and Louisiana, those are rationalized because red states were the venues.
But wait! There are more non-related topics to bash Trump over the head with. The wall he promised to build. Calling Alex Rodriguez to discuss COVID-19 as it "tears through your communities."
In Phillips' view, sports are not a catharsis, but the trivialization of grief and "an act of societal selfishness that gives permission to the unaffected majority to pretend everyone’s life is normal again — simply because theirs is.”
We’re all just trying to survive, and sports is non-essential, declares Phillips, trying to justify why he seldom ever sticks to sports in his literary ravings. "Unless you’re a 'leader' that would give anything to get out of the hot seat you willingly created for yourself, and us.
"Donald Trump needs sports right now. He’s just failed to realize that sports don’t need him."
Nor do sports fans need race and politically twinged posts by people like Phillips who never stick to sports.