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tv   Washington Journal Dave Zirin Discusses President Trumps NFL Comments  CSPAN  October 1, 2017 8:39am-9:10am EDT

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country, and even though he wanted to help, he was cautious. he did not want to get involved in this war if he could help it. besides, most people in washington, including him, were pretty much convinced britain be easily defeated. how could it possibly survive when no other european country had? >> madeleine albright, called our foremost chronicler of politics and diplomacy of world war ii. includen's books freedom starters, and her most recent last hope island, britain, brotherhood, and the hope that helped turn the tide of war. olsonindepth with lynne today on tv on c-span2.
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>> "washington journal" continues. host: our next guest is dave zirin. he is the sports editor for the nation. i want to get right to it. you wrote, "it is exhausting to have a president that gets angrier at outspoken athletes, exhausting how shameless he is about his bigotry, the president never played football. he never served in the armed forces. he frets over what conclusions we draw from the size of his hands. pitome of a frail brand of masculinity. he longs in psychological textbook as a case study, not in the white house." guest: yes. that is my opinion of the president of the united states. we could add on to that the way
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he has chosen to express his masculinity, both in sexual conquests and violence against inen and his bullying antics the boardroom. he lives vicariously through football players, soldiers in war, and to me that is the part of trounced speech -- donald trump's speech in alabama last friday where he demonized players for practices and d-- dissent in an effort to distract us from other issues in the world. part of that speech we forget is when he pines for the day when there was more dramatic brain injury in football. he said the game has been to soft. this is a game he does not play, not play. -- did not play.
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because it is not more violent, he is dissatisfied with the product. i think that is where he upset the nfl owners as well. host: one of the points is that the flag represents america. these are well-paid athletes. they should salute america for all of its faults and protests in other ways. guest: that is what people say about it. they not protesting the anthem or the flag. they are practicing peaceful dissent to point out the gaps between what the flag represents and the lived experiences of african americans in the country. they're trying to make people a little uncomfortable. they're trying to point out the racism that exists. if we had a legitimate president in this country, they would be trying to listen to these concerns and have a national discussion about it instead of
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diverting the discussion into one about them not being patriotic. if he was actually trying to listen to what they were trying to say. i would argue nfl owners are thisble in the fact that discussion has been hijacked and not about the issues players are trying to raise. now it is about who is more patriotic and who does or does not respect the troops. and if owners are saying protest is patriotic. donald trump is saying stand or die. you have players saying wait a minute, this is not the debate we wanted to have. host: colin kaepernick is not playing this year. guest: i think that is connected to it. i am in communication with a lot of these players. it was only about nine players for donald trump's speech. the reason they were keeping it
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going was in memory of colin kaepernick and the belief that the reason why he was not playing was to be a shot against the bow to ensure they are compliant. they resented that. it also had to do with charlottesville and the feeling that they had to do something to say something about the world. host: the golden state warriors disinvited from the white house. steph curry had his comments posted. "remember the present works for us. we elected him. he does not just work for his constituents and his base. citizen. -- he works for every citizen. respectfully, mr. trump, the point is this, you are the president, you represent all of us, don't divide us." guest: we couldn't be having
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these same discussions about puerto rico incident athletes and the anthem. the society of demonizing, destroying, dividing people and distracting people from the real issues. from donald trump about puerto rico, what is left out of that equation is 55% of the people in puerto rico don't have drinkable water now. that should be the only focus of the president. he is still tweeting about players. this is not where his head should be. what these players are trying to do on a grassroots level is engage with local law enforcement, district attorneys, and community activists. i don't think donald trump wants to have the discussion because it would upset his base so much to admit racism exists in the u.s. host: cheryl is joining us on
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the republican line from alabama. good morning. caller: i just wanted to say that he is just talking about -- your speaker is just talking about one side of the nation. listened to caps on us, your guest -- cal thomas, your guest that was on before him. everybody don't take his opinion. that is all i wanted to say. guest: thank you. i appreciate the call. i want to give a shout out to bruce maxwell, also from alabama, who became the first knee into take a major league baseball. alabama produces tremendous folks on all sides of the political divide. i listened to cal thomas and
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what he had to say. i come at this from a different point of view. i think protests during the fm is a legitimate -- the anthem is a legitimate form of protest. i am concerned about a president who becomes so angry at peaceful protests but is ok with swastikas. kerr tell theteve president what to do? guest: who am i, who is cal thomas, who is bridget from alabama, we all have the right to tell the president what to do. he works for us. he is not the ceo of america and we are his workers. he gets this dynamic backwards. that ends up in a lot of the problems we are in now. he only plays to his good workers, his base, and not as bad workers that dared to
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criticize him. host: a president will not host the on ice or the an attendant. or be anttendancts honoree. where is all this going to lead with this present? -- president? guest: he needs to have a much thicker skin. he disinvited the warriors only after some players said they would not attend. steve kerr said he wanted to the players about attending because he thought that would be good for the country. i think any president would have jumped at that for the media opportunity to say look at me reaching across the aisle to share ideas. with the kennedy center, he only made that decision after the legendary tv producer norman
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layer said he would not show it f trump was there. i will not accept this kind of behavior from my nine-year-old son. host: from florida, good morning. caller: good morning. i got a couple of comments. i really don't understand where mr. trump gets off on telling anybody what is patriotic. you do realize he took five deferments to not go to vietnam? funher point, this man made of john mccain, a war hero, a man with balls enough to get into a plane to go to vietnam. he got shot down and spent hell in hanoi.
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phat is a piece of cra right there, anybody that would do that. host: thanks for the call. there are reports of the imicing john m mccain because of his injuries sustained in vietnam. guest: we're not just talking about donald trump's deferments 40 years ago, just like we are not talking about the fact that in 2011 there is a tweet from donald trump defending the burning of the american flag, this thing he now says we have to respect no matter what. it is his actions this week that call his patriotism into question, mocking john mccain is one of those. as recently as this weekend, there is a fundraising text going out to donald trump donors where he has his hand over his
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heart and the flag behind him, and he has a message about giving to the campaign. as a using the anthem fundraising pitch while he is telling nfl players they are demeaning the anthem. ,ost: our guest is dave zirin editor of the nation magazine. david is calling in. caller: good morning. thank you to your guest. there is no getting around it. donald trump is probably one of the most vile excuses for a human being we have ever come across. he actually had the nerve in that speech where he was talking about they were not hit hard enough, he said people were not watching nfl, they were watching him, even though we were going through hurricanes. i can remember that players used to be in the locker room when
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the national anthem was being played. is it true that the pentagon and national guard's were paying nfl owners for the players to be out there? guest: terrific call, and answer to that is yes, yes, and yes. it is interesting because we speak about this as if it is an old custom that extends back to world war ii, the greatest generation, that is the way it is discussed. it harkens back all the way to 2009. that is as far back as it goes. before that, nfl players were in the locker room. there was a commercial partnership between the department of defense and the nfl where the dod paid the nfl. this was discovered by republican senators, jeff flake and john mccain. what donald trump says,
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the nfl is not some progressive, liberal institute of social justice. that is not what the nfl is. they are run by some of the most conservative billionaires in the u.s. what they're trying to do is save their product in the face of a president who seems to have got off the rails. host: dave zirin's books include the history of sports in the united states, ruining the games we love, and the editor and producer of a number of documentaries including, not just a game, race, power, and american sports. let's go to matt. good morning. thank you for waiting. caller: good morning. ever since i got on hold, so many good points were made. for starters, what your guest just said about your owners being republican billionaires, that may or may not be true, but
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what is true is they bow from intense pressure from the test to intense pressure from the -- bow to intense pressure from the left. they are pressure by a left-wing that in today's ideas in the university system and forces them. everything.ize trump's comments were inappropriate. he is not a disciplined politician. the people knew that. that people don't want politics on the football field. i don't express my political views at work. they not allowed to celebrate in the end zone, where certain things in protest. if an nfl player was making a protest against abortion, with people support him? host: if the election was held
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today, would you vote for donald trump again? caller: i would. guest: when players protest during the anthem, there is nothing in the bargaining contract that says they need to stand for the anthem, so they are not protesting at work. they are out there on a voluntary basis. they have only been going out there is 2009. -- out there since 2009. i think that argument falls apart. i think you have to take a big leap to say the national football league is being shipped leftistaped by pressure. there is a team in the nation's capital that is named after a racial slur. you look at issues from minority hiring to who is in the own'
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er's box, the rights of players, and to call this a left-wing operation is the height of absurdity. to think players have brought politics into the nfl when they are doing formal partnerships with the department of defense to support the wars overseas and equipment,litary that is like looking at the sky and saying it is green. host: the fragile, toxic masculinity of donald trump. you can read it online at the nation. did you come up with that headline? guest: i did. i was upset after that speech. i know a lot of these players. .o.b., isaid the s was upset. [video clip] >> i have so many friends that
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are owners. they are in the box. i spoke to couple of them. they said we are in a situation where we have to do something. i think they are afraid of their players, you want to know the truth. i think it is disgraceful. they have to be tough and smart. you look at the ratings. the ratings are way down. the stadiums, i have seen a couple of stadiums over the last few weeks. there are a lot of empty seats. i cannot even believe it. host: the president on fox and friends. why do you think he sent those tweets out? guest: i think because of the disastrous legislative agenda, the failure to repeal obama care, puerto rico, the crisis involving tom price and all of his cabinet officials who seem to be taking private planes on the public dime, private emails involving jerrod into -- jared and ivanka, the list of
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issues is so high that he wants to distract us from. what he says to his political base, i can offer you know political reform, but i can offer you some into hate, bigotry. that is what he does. there will be a day i hope when his base splinters. we need to stand up against it. mocratse will go to de line. caller: good morning. i agree with everything you are saying. i have not read your column, but i will start reading it after this. you are right about a lot of things. basketball,otball, we aspired to be pro athletes.
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i like to say that those people , they goto the pros through not only a college education but a lot of heart aches. a lot of people don't make it there. host: thanks. guest: it is absolutely true. the odds of making it as a professional athlete are miniscule, but for some money folks it is their only shot -- so many folks it is their only shot out of poverty. the more we know about brain injury, the more middle-class families will try to keep their young kids out of the sports. that is a huge existential fear for the national football league.
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shout out to tulsa, oklahoma, too because that is one of the cities that inspired this athletic revolt after the killing of -- killing him on camera and it was videotaped in this upsets people we do not have this justice. this discussion needs to be about terence crutcher and his family and not about donald trump. host: helen in lake charles, louisiana. republican line. caller: i hope i can make my thoughts known in a more pleasant way. thes unbelievable to me disrespect for president of the united states is so bad. i have never seen this in my 70 years. still working. i live in a multicultural family neighborhood. i have no bias or present --
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written -- or prejudice against my neighbors. the reason i am against the nfl players not playing and protesting is because it is in our taxpayers dollars and on the i at my jobecause cannot do it i want to do when i want to do it. malign ourto just president, i would please call on young people and not to make faces while i am talking and do all this, but to be respectful and say it in a more respectful manner for president. and i dondraisers think it is a foreign entity and i do not necessarily believe it is russia trying to tear this country apart. i had to read in my senior year in high school masters of
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defeat. i encourage you to read it because it says this country will fall from within. host: thank you. guest: i am going to turn to sports" gregg popovich of the coach of the san antonio spurs, who said i have respect for the office of the presidency, but if you want me to respect to as an individual, that respect has to be earned. i'm sorry, but donald trump's behavior over the course of his life, from bragging from sexually assaulting women in the 1990's, where that speech where .'scalled nfl players s.o.b and he made a profane speech that targeted the mothers of nfl players, you will never have my respect. his actions toward puerto rico, speaking about a mayor who was waiting to water with a bullhorn , trying to figure out who is dead and alive, and he insults yourom his golf course? no,
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do not have an respect. this is why 40% of the country thinks he should be impeached, according to the latest poll. this does not have to do with the fact that he is republican, this has to do it his behavior and the behavior of his cabinet and it degrades the office and this country. that is where this anger is coming from. i would repeat, these, it's not traffic in fiction, they are not protesting on their job. the air out there on a voluntary for the anthem, and it has only been asked since 2009. any people might think it is a beautiful ritual, and that is fantastic, but they have the right to express themselves in the confines of that ritual. that is protected speech. host: we will go to john in pennsylvania. good morning. caller: thanks for taking the call. i wanted to say it is clear that the nfl, party entertainment,
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and a portion of our country, just like espn and your guest, who is a sports reporter, there is a lot of left-wing, self-appointed experts on social justice. the espn's of the world are that way, and discussed barely comes from the left, saying -- and i believe in all the left agenda, anything that disagrees with that agenda, and point out everyone is wrong unless they are left. host: your response. guest: that is not true. i think what we are so divided in this country right now where people dismiss ideas and say, that is left-wing propaganda. talking about left-wing propaganda. i am talking about terence crutcher's body in the streets and no justice for his family. i am talking about a woman who weighed less than 100 pounds, called the police herself and
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was killed in front of her children. that is one of the things that inspired a seattle seahawks player to get out there. this is not right and left. or wrong,out right and players are trying to raise the issue of criminal justice and have a national conversation. the fact they are getting demonized instead of trying to engage in a debate of what better policing would look like, that is a shame in the senate were care. host: what will happen today? guest: i think there will be a lot of players who link arms, neel, and some networks say they will not show then there them issue at all. i think the nfl will try to move on. i think you will still have nine or 10 players who will want to use the space to raise bigger issues. host: on the democrat line, michigan. quick question? caller: i had a comment, actually solution.
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this is not capitulating at all in my opinion. at the end can kneel of the game, they can kneel in silence at the end of the game and that can expose the issue they want to address. host: some players do that anyway to say, think, god they did not get hurt during the game. that is a postgame prayer ritual some players do. guest: i will tell everybody, it is not in anthem protest, it is a protest during the anthem to raise attention to these issues. i think that is the part that has gotten this attention. we would not have the discussions we are having without it. this protesting during the anthem has to and will remain. we don't have time to talk about it but people should look up john brennan, the former head of the cia and the statement he issued, describing the rain the anthem as a patriotic act and
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counter posing it with the particularlyump, regarding puerto rico, and saying, that is not a patriotic act. all i have to say about that is these are strange times in which we are living and i would encourage people to look at the substance of what people are protesting and not just the words back and forth. host: your work is available,at thenati dave zirin, the sports editor. we will talk about all of it steve clemons. you are watching and listening "blessington journal" on this first day in october -- on "the washington journal" on this first in october. stay with us. ♪
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