tv Democracy Now LINKTV February 7, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PST
02/07/22 02/07/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> we believe there is a distinct possibility vladimir putin will order an attack on ukraine. it could take a number of different forms. it could happen as soon as tomorrow or it could take some weeks. amy: as the u.s. warns russia could soon invade ukraine, diplomatic talks are continuing in moscow and washington. while the u.s. is sending more military equipment to ukraine.
we will gethe late. then to the winter olympics. the 22 winter olympics is happening right now in beijing. the world's attention is -- shld not forget the terrible human rights violations happening in the country. amy: we will speak to a china researcher at human rights watch and a former member of the u.s. olympic soccer team. in the national football league is run like a plantation. that is the charge levied by former miami dolphins coach brian flores who has filed a class-action racial discrimination suit against the league and three teens. while 70% of nfl players are black, all the team owners are white. we will speak to former nfl player donté stallworth. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
french president emmanuel macron is meeting with russian president vladimir putin in moscow today in hopes of de-escalating tensions over ukraine. macron will meet with ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky in kiev on tuesday. this comes as the biden administration continues to warn of a possible imminent attack on ukraine by russian forces and as u.s. officials reportedly said over the weekend russia now has 70% of the necessary combat forces in place to invade. following the comments from washington, ukraine's foreign minister told ukrainian citizens, "do not believe the apocalyptic predictions." the u.s. has also ramped up its arms transfer to ukraine and sent troops to nato allies in eastern europe and germany in recent days. meanwhile, german chancellor olaf scholz is meeting with president biden at the white house today before heading to kiev and moscow. on sunday, scholz said he was open to deploying more german troops to lithuania to help prop up nato's military presence in eastern europe.
the u.s. topped 900,000 recorded deaths from covid-19 friday. president biden marked the grim milestone by urging all americans to get vaccinated and boosted. case numbers are steadily falling from this winter's omicron-fueled highs, though experts say related deaths, which now average over 2500 per day, have yet to peak. new jersey governor phil murphy is lifting his state's mask mandate in schools. this follows a similar decision in pnsylvania last month. the governors of new york and connecticut said last week they are reconsidering school mask mandates as well. in international coronavirus news, turkish president recep tayyip erdogan said he is experiencing mild symptoms after testing positive for covid-19. separately, recently sworn-in honduran president xiomara castro also tested positive with mild symptoms and announced she is working in isolation. in canada, the mayor of ottawa has declared a state of emergency, sayg the cityas
under ege from thousands of truck drivers who have been blocking roads to protest covid restrictions and vaccine mandates. the protests, which have now spread outside of ottawa, have also expanded to include broader grievances against the canadian government of prime minister justin trudeau. organizers of the so-called freedom convoy have been linked to far-right and neo-nazi movements, with some participants waving confederate flags or swastikas. in minneapolis, protesters have been taking to the streets following the police shooting of 22-year-old amir locke last week. the minneapolis police departme released a video of the raid iwhich a swat team thursday raided an apartment where they found and shot locke, who was asleep and not a suspect in their warrant. on friday, minneapolis mayor jacob frey announced a moratorium on no-knock warrants. amir locke's parents described him as a talented musician and beloved community member as they
spoke at a news conference friday. his mother karen locke called for accountability in her son's killing. >> at the end of the day, i believe that he was executed by the police and i want the police officer that murdered my son to be prosecuted and fired. amy: in mexico, some 380 migrants, including families with young children, were evicted from a makeshift border camp in the city of tijuana sunday morning. dozens of mexican national guard, army soldiers, and municipal police raided the camp where the migrants, mostly from central america, had been forced to live for nearly one year -- due to the biden administration's ongoing enforcement of policies that have blocked people from entering the u.s. to apply for asylum. this is a migrant from el salvador. >> are caught off guard. we d' know where we will be taken. a shelter? i don't know.
i don't know with the mexican authorities are going to do with us. we don't know what they're going to do. amy: iran has welcomed a move by the united states to waive sanctions against foreign countries and companies that work iiran'civil nuclear sector e sanctionwere impos by the trump ministration in 2020 after it pulled the u.s. out of the landmark 2015 iran nuclear deal. iran has called ending those sanctions a necessary first step toward restoring the nuclear agreement. last week, iran's foreign minister said tehran is willing to engage in direct talks with the biden administration if negotiations on a new nuclear deal reach an advanced stage. in madagascar, at least 10 people have been killed and some 48,000 displaced from their homes after cyclone batsirai battered the island overnight sunday. the cyclone made landfall in the city of mananjary with winds of about 100 miles per hour, triggering massive floods, uprooting trees, and destroying buildings. this is the second major storm to hit madagascar in two weeks. nigeria's environmental ministry has declared a major disaster
after a ship carrying more than 50,000 barrels of crude oil exploded off the coast of nigeria. the blast killed at least one crew member, with seven others still missing. survey crews reported a sheen and emulsified oil around the vessel as authorities warned that the spill poses great danger to coastal communities. ecuador's constitutional court has ruled that indigenous communities should have much more control over whether to allow extractive projects on their lands. in a decision handed down friday, judges ruled that indigenous groups can halt proposed mining and oil drilling projects if they're found to require "excessive sacrifices to the collective rights of communities and nature." it's a blow to president guillermo lasso, who has promised to double ecuador's oil production and a major victory for the a'i cofan community and other indigenous groups who've suffered the effects of environmental degradation for decades. in puerto rico, torrential rains poured on san juan and other
regions of the island saturday, breaking a rainfall record that had previously been set in 1998. meanwhile, thousands of teachers from across puerto rico took to the streets friday demanding higher wages and better pensions. the action was in response to the approval last month of another plan to restructure some of puerto rico's massive debt. the plan includes a slight increase of teachers' base salaries, significantly lower than what was demanded. it also freezes future pensions for current teachers. many teachers say they're forced to take on other jobs to make ends meet. the republican national committee censured congressmembers liz cheney and adam kinzinger friday over their involvement in the house investigation into the capitol insurrection, which the censure referred to as legitimate political discourse. the two congress members are the only republicans on the house committee. in related news, former vice president mike pence on friday rebuked trump's false claim that pence had the authority to change the results of the 2020 election. >> president trump said i had
the right to overturn the election. president trump is wrong. i had no right to overturn the election. amy: north carolina supreme court struck down republican-gerrymandered redistricting maps and ordered the legislature to redraw the congressional and general assembly maps ahead of primaries in may. meanwhile, in arizona, the republican house speaker thwarted an attempt by a fellow republican lawmaker to move forward a bill that would grant arizona's legislature the authority to reject election results, among other measures. in other voting news, pamela moses, a black activist from tennessee, was sentenced to six years in prison last week for trying to register to vote, not knowing she was ineligible due to a felony conviction. officials erroneously told moses her voting rights had been restored. her lawyer is appealing the case. moses is the founder of black lives matter memphis and a former mayoral candidate.
and former employees of washington, d.c.'s nfl team have detailed new sexual harassment claims against team owner daniel snyder. team marketing manager and former cheerleader tiffani johnston testified last thursday to the house committee on governmental reform. >> mr. snyder touched you in a sexual manner that night, correct? >> correct. >> snyder did so on purpose, correct? >> correct. >> how do you know that? >> he left his hand in the middle of my thigh until i removed it. amy: in july the nfl issued a $10 million fine to the washington football team after 15 women came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. in 2020, the team dropped its name and mascot -- a racist slur against native americans which it first adopted in 1933. last week, the team announced its new name, the washington commanders, which the team called a tribute to washington's military ties.
the name was dropped as a result of years of organizing in indigenous communities. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. top-level diplomatic talks are continuing in an attempt to diffuse the crisis over ukraine. french president emmanuel macron is meeting with russian president vladimir putin in moscow today. macron will then head to kiev to meet ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky on tuesday. on friday, putin traveled to beijing to meet with chinese president xi jinping and attend the opening ceremony of the winter olympics. the two leaders signed a joint statement calling on the united states and other western nations to "abandon the ideologized approaches of the cold war." they also called for no more expansion of nato. meanwhile, germany's new chancellor olaf scholz will meet with president biden at the white house today.
over the weekend, u.s. officials claimed russia now has in place 70% of the forces it needs to invade ukraine. meanwhile, the u.s. continues to send military equipment and munitions to ukraine. cnn reports an 80-ton shipment of military aid arrived recently. it is the eighth u.s. shipment in recent days. u.s. intelligence assessments reportedly predict a full-scale russian invasion of ukraine could lead to 50,000 civilians deaths in ukraine. president putin has denied claims he plans to invade ukraine. for more, we are joined by two guests. anatol lieven is senior fellow at the quincy institute for responsible statecraft. author of numerous books on russia and the former soviet republics, including "ukraine and russia: a fraternal rivalry." we are also joined by masha gessen, staff writer at the new yorker and an award-winning russian-american journalist. masha is author of numerous books, including most recently, "surviving autocracy." masha's most recent piece for the new yorker is headlined, "how a city close to the
ukraine-russia border has been shaped by war." masha, let's begin with you. can you describe the scene on the ground, the people you spoke to, how people are preparing are not for confrontation? >>hank you, amy. thank you for having me. i spent some time in kiev and a city close to the russian-ukrainian border. some have been living close to the war and it is important to remember we talked about russia invading ukraine, it happened eight years ago -- we're coming up on an anniversary. what they have had for t last eight years is in armed conict that continues to claim lives on a daily bas. everyday people die in what
ukrainians refer to as the ungoverned territories, which are the two self -- the people's republic in theast of ukraine, which is where russia invaded eight years ago. kiev knows what it is like to be in that state of conflict and total lawlessness and ongoing violence that people in those places are experiencing. this is something i think russians don't quite understand that over the eight years of that conflict, people have really forged ukrainian identity th is entirely separate -- and is what americans fail to understand -- entirelseparate from linguistic identity. there is a patriotic feeling that always happens.
a lot of people are saying, ok, bring it on. we have known for a long time this was going to happen. obviously, this was bravado in a lot of ways. russia is capable of using overwhelming force that would lead to incredible amount of bloodshed. think people are very far from where they were eight years ago, which is caught unawareor something like the russian invasion was just unimaginable eight years ago. these days, i think i feel like they know what it is like and they're prepared. key avenue is a dierent story. --iev is a difrent story. people are living on two tracks. one they think it is completely -- it is unimaginable. they have not been living next a war zone for eight years. the bombing seems absurd to
them. at the same time, their thinking, there's nothing they can plan for next week because you have been in your place of suspended animation. there's a real sense of -- amy: talk about the people you spoke to and how in everyday life men, women, children are planning -- i mean, from the united states perspective, the u.s. pulled back the word " imminent invasion" but they are suggesting that is the case every day. i got the sense from your pieces and especially the piece you wrote on kiev, you know, people are taking different approaches, whether to flee or tuesday and fight. >> the ukrainian government
understandably has been trying to project a sense of calm because part of what is happening is having a devastating effect on the ukrainian economy. even without innovation, it is destructive for the country. -- even without an invasion, it is destructive on the country. the president and some of his ministers have been signed, look, what we're seeing now is not substantially different than anything we saw over the course of 2021. they keep amassing troops on the border, they keep pulling them back. we cannot react to every one of those fluctuations. weave to keep living our lives or this is incredibly destructive. i think to some extent, he has succeeded in projecting a sort of calm and people are saying, what is all this talk of war?
it is amazing. i have dozens of interviews in the course of my time in ukraine and i don't think there's a single person who did not use the phrase "wag the dog" in describing what they were experiencing. amy: explained that for people who are not familiar with that reference. >> the reference is to the film "wag the dog" where lisa administration, fictional this administration are manufacturers of war in albania, which i think people in the administration. realize is a real country, and it is a media-drin phemenon. the war is a side effect of a side effect of immediate controversy. i am summing it up from memory. it ibeen a long time, more than 20 years. but that is thmovie. so a lotf people are perceiving it as a media-driven
phenomenon, something happening in a virtual space that will affect the physically and tragically. the mayor of kiev or the deputy mayor of kiev said in december, look, you should have a go g. you should be prepared. that was the first wake-up that panic. people have been making contingency plans. some people are planning to go to western ukraine, which they say will not be affected. some people are planning to leave the country. some people are planning to send their kids from the country. some people are stocking up on generators and planning maybe communal living so they can help each other in case there is no ectricity, there is no internet, food shortages, etc. we are still talking about winter, so people are concerned about being able to heat their homes.
there's also a real mobilzation effort. there'a thing called terrorial defense, which is a kind of civilian/military reserve that is part of the military chain of command. they have hadn extraordinary number of people signing up jus in theast weeks and couple of months. so they are traini every ekend. really do have essence on the one hand you're sort of walking around kiev, it is a beautiful, vibrant city with lots of great food, people sitting in restaurants. it is easy to forget about covid. at the same time, every conversation turns to subjects of preparedness. a lot of people are actively either taking -- training militarily or thinking of at least taking up arms. amy: i want to bring anatol lieven into the conversation from quincy institute for
responsible statecraft. you have macron meeting with putin today, the new german chancellor scholz in washington, d.c., meeting with biden. your sense of what could happen right now? >> i think there's a good deal of room, actually, for diplomatic progress and at least a sort of interim diplomatic agreement. -- agreement arod issues either raised or left open by the american response to russia. in other words, arms limitation agreent, especially the stationing of missiles, resumption of nuclear arms reduction talks. and perhaps at least an informal agreement on a moratorium or
delay on nato membership for ukraine, which actually sacrifices nothing because nobody thinks that ukraine can join nato in the foreseeable future anyway so this is a point of principle rather that a point of actual reality. beyond that, there is the issue that was also raised both by the american response and the president macron, but somewhat vaguely, which is the possibility of some kind of new european security architecture in which russia would have at least two more tickets sold -- more of a consultative role. i myself would follow with ukrainian government has been saying and they that russia invasion is not imminent.
because a good many people said the russian demands were hitched so high that moscow must have known they could not be accepted and this was simply a pretext for russian invasion. i think if that were true, the russians would have invaded already. there clearly is a desire in moscow to pursue a diplomatic path. where that will lead, we don't know. of course, war remains just didn't possibility. but i would not myself say we need to be immediately -- amy: the french president can borrow a phrase and say no" ukraine joining nato. do you think it is that simple? >> well, it is not simple for macron. obviously, he's under multiple pressures from the united states
but in what way, it is simple because as i said, it is not actually possible for ukrne to join nato. not nearlin the next few ars but basically, ever. the reason is simple. ukraine is involved -- frozen conflict with russia bringg ukraine into nato would imply nato sending very serious troops, co war numbers, to defend ukraine against russia. that is simply not going to happen. apart from everything else, nobody wants war with russia and the but he of destruction from china. -- nobody wants that kind of destruction from china.
in some respects, this whole argument is an argument about nothing. amy: masha gessen, your response? >> i agree with anatol, but we have to think why. russia is perftly well aware that the psibility of ukraine joining nato is zero. why is russia raising this topic anwhat is russia demanding guarantees and demanding guarantees that ukraineill never join into, demanding guarantees of something that is not going to happen. i agree it is a pretext, but it is also a demand for something. it is a demand for exactly the
kind of attention that russia is getting right now, which is the whole world is swirling, the western world is swirlg around russia trying toconvince vladimir putin to step back. the danger he is tha considering russia's demands full never be fully met, i don't think it is going to get a guarantee, even though it would change nothing in the real state of things because it is not going to get a complete guarantee. at a certain point, it is going to lose the world's attention. that is when i think the danger point comes. because t purposef this is not -- again, we know this is a pretext. the purpose is to do something else. what is that? a large part of it is creating a sense among russians that russia matters, that vladimir putin is a world leader,hat he says something in the whole world gets moving and that he can command the world's attention. it is feelings of resentment and
a sense of being left out and diminished that putin's politics consistently cap into. when he loses that opportunity, i think that is when it becomes risky so i don't there is an imminent invasion but i also don't see how in the long term, this game brinksmanship can end with anything but a big war. amy: anatol lieven, let me ask you about the german chancellor meeting with biden in washington and what you should happen and also the meaning of xi and putin, the chinese and russian leaders, in beijing last week, which was highly significant, the first time xi met with the world leader in two years since the pandemic. and that kind of alliance forming, even if that plenty of differences, the pushing and nato pushing essentially them together? >> well, i mean, scholz in
washington is anxious to present a united front to russia as a deterrent to end russian action. while the same time, praying that russia will not invade and ms of native sanctions will be necessary. because let's not forget, talking about sanctions for an american is very cheap because america has very little trade with russia and does not depend on russia for energy imports. massive sanctions against russia for germans is very expensive. the german government is hoping it will not have to impose them. for the moment, the stress is on a combination of the united western front but also, as i say, this really hopeful diplomatic process with moscow. as far as putin and i, or
rather russia and china are concerned, they have interest in, and pushing back against the west. but this is not going to be an alliance. china is not offering to fight russia in ukraine. china has not recognized russia annexation of crimea and russia's not to fight over taiwan. the big question is, if russia does invade ukraine and sanctions are imposed, how far will china go in supporting the russian economy? we don't know. my sense, however, is so far ina has been fairly cautious about this most of apart from anything else, the cost of war in ukraine with massive economic sanctions would be extremely disruptive to the world economy, world eney prices -- at
least in the short term, would be damaging for china. this remas a partnership but i think will short of an alliance. if i could just push back a little on what masha said, it is at least partly mistaken to talk about putin's domestic agendas and russn feelings here. there are court russian national security interest held by the russian estabshment and by lae part of the russian people, which arin a certain respect extremely close to those of the unitedtates when it comes to its own backyard in central america. now, those are interests that america expects to be taken very seriously in its case and, well, so does russia. amy: masha gessen? >> well, i think putin's primary concern is not strategic.
obviouslywe can argue about what is in the man's head until the cow comes homand that's part of the problem in dealing wi a closed regime, especially one that has been in power so long. but i think what putin is saying -- he getting old. his regimis showing signs of wear his popularity is waning. the model is available for either a safe retirement or continuing his rule in perpetuity are not- for him. [indiscernible anrubbed in mass protest in august 2020. the only way to sustain the regime is with russia's help. he saw neighboring afghanistan
attempt a sort of soft fake transfer of power with guarantees of security for the outgoing president and break into what appeared to be mass protests. again, the use of force. elisa military power by the post-soviet organization occurred in kazakhstan earlier this year. it has to be going through putin 's mind how he's is going to sustain his personal power and the durability of his regime going forward. i think the only model that has worked for him is a model of sustaining his legitimacy -- pumping up his popularity. and that happened by showing he
is a powerful man on the world stage, but also the biggest boost to his popularity ever was the annexation of crimea. he could not re-create it, but i think he keeps looki in the direction of ukrainto see what he could do that would -- another important consideration, which is sanctions. pun's point of view, sanctions that were imposed on russ in 2014 by both western european countries a the uted states were ultimately -- yes, the russian, looking frothe west would say the russian economy took a huge head. looking from russia, it mobilize the population, secured his political popularity. it was an all around win. thinking of sanctions as a deterrent i think has to be at
least complicated. we cannot possibly assume that he thinks about sanctions as a net loss. amy: isn't trump, enemy president trump, actually getting what he wants? he was pushing for nato country spending 4% of their gdp on military weapons. the countries are not near there. the goal was to percent. but it is increasing dramatically. what about who is ultimately winning here, the weapons manufacturers? >> of course it is not just trump that called for europe to increase military spending, i think every u.s. president has done that since eisenhower. let's keep something in mind here. however much europeans spend on defense, european soldiers will not fight russia to defend ukraine. they just won't. that has been made clear again and again.
therefore -- two things to keep in mind. first, sanctions may not be very effective but they are the only deterrent that we have got because we won't fight. the soldiers being sent are purely symbolic because russia does not have the slightest tention of attacking nato. it would be a crazy thing to do. by the way, russia has repeatedly denied it is going to attack ukraine. a great deal of this is the tricks on the part of the west -- theatrics on the part of the west coast of amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, anatol lieven quincy , institute for responsible statecraft. masha gessen, staff writer at the new yorker, award-winning journalist. we will link to your piece "how a city close to the ukraine-russia border has been shaped by war."
amy: "song of the birds" performed by yo yo ma and andrea motis. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. the 2022 winter olympics is underway in beijing, china. chinese president xi jinping hosted russian president vladimir putin for talks on the opening day, friday, with the 90 states diplomatically boycotting the games along with austria, belgium, denmark, estonia, german, lithuania, the netherlands, and sweden. among other countries including new zealand. human rights groups accused china of turning the olympics into a sports washing event and have condemned china's crimes against uighurs and other muslims. during friday's opening ceremonies, one of the olympic torchbearers china selected was a uighur cross-country skier. after a finishing 43rd in her olympic debut the next d, she was kept away from reporters. international olympic committee president thomas bach was asked about the ioc's message and said
he would not comment on political issues. >> the end, you have olympic games -- agree on every political situation. the games would lose universality. they would lose their mission. it would lead to the end of the olympic games. thmission, it cannot accomplish our mission to bringing the world together, then we are at great risk. amy: bach said he met this weekend with chinese tennis
player peng shuai, who disappeared after she made sexual assault allegations against a former high-ranking member of china's ruling communist party. but the ioc has said it can't say if there should be an investigation of her allegations. they said she had this point and not call for that. peng shuai spoke sunday in what the associated press called a controlled interview in beijing with french sports newspaper l'equipe, where she denied the allegations as a chinese olympic committee official looked on and said she was retiring from competition. this comes as human rights advocates say the international olympic committee do more to support athletes speaking out against human rights violations. for more, we are joined by two guests. jules boykoff is the author of five books on the olympics, including "power games: a political history of the olympics." his latest piece for jacobin is headlined "the beijing winter olympics are a political disaster." also with us is yaqiu wang, senior china researcher at human
rights watch. welcome to democracy now! yaqiu wang, talk about the olympics and how they're playing out right now, this latest story that has dominated not inside china at all, peng shuai, who made these allegations against a high level former chinese government official of sexual assault and then it just disappeared from the chinese internet and she says she has been completely misunderstood and is retiring from tennis. talk about that and then overall the olympics playing out in china right now. >> well, i mean, i kind of expected this to happen again because the ioc said we were going to have our dinner, nothing happened, and the same saying. misunderstood. i was fine. i expected that to happen.
i can emphasize she is still completely wiped out from the chinese internet. you cannot know anything what she said recently. if you search the chinese internet, anything about her before she made the social media post -- she is still a sensitive topic inside china. it is really set whether the chinese government is allowing people to talk freely about this case. i think we can assume everything is still very controlled. now the athletes are playing. there is propaganda about the athletes. and if you criticize the government -- if you say something online, your post can be removed. your account can be suspended. there's a lot of propaganda. look how beautiful everything is.
amy: jules boykoff, your piece "the beijing winter olympics are a political disaster." why? >> hypocrisy is flying in every direction. we just listen to the international olympic committee president thomas bach claimed us really to political neutrality, it brings together the great desmond tutu who once and if you're neutral in situations of injustice, you havehosen the side of the oppressor. it is not just at at the international olympic committee is clinging to in terms of its own hypocrisy, it committed the original sin in handedly 11 stew and obvious human rights violator despite the lofty principles of its charter about human dignity. but it does not end with the ioc . china has been hypocritical in these games. they, too, like the ioc, have been say we need to keep politics out of the olympics. it was not that many years back when china itself was boycotting
the olympics. they did in 1980, the moscow games because of the invasion of so is in afghanistan and also the 1964 olympics in tokyo. finally, the united states is quite hypocritical in this instance as well. you have the biden administration that has carried out a diplomatic boycott against china and these olympic games joined by very few number of countries, i might add, but many people are looking at the u.s. wagging his finger china and say, hey, what about of who's invited in a guantanamo bay tortured and time again, waterboarded time and again? what about those kids in cages at the border? what about the unquestioning support for israel as they carry out an apartheid system against palestinians? well my friends would point out what is happening in china right now, we're seeing crimes against humanity happening as defined in
the rome statute that created the international criminal court , the rest of the world is definitely seeing some hypocrisy from the u.s. seeing with these olympics that sports are more than sports in the beijing gives our stark reminder of that. amy: you've also pointed out, jules boykoff, in your pieces, the right wing resistance against the games, going as far as stoking a kind of cold war with china. >> absolutely. many on the left are concerned criticizing the beijing 2022 olympi on human rights grounds and other grounds risks opening up a pandora's box of anti-asian hate as well as the possibility of green lighting war. after all, we have witnessed a bipartisan effort to gin up a new cold war with china. and fortune, were as a force that gives much of the u.s. political class meaning. we saw this at the end of 2021
when the u.s. congress passed this whopping $770 billion defense bill that had $24 billion more than biden even asked for. many pundits across the political spectrum pointed out it was the rising power of china that necessitated this massive bill, including the extra $24 billion. what we are seeing right now with beijing olympics is they are rising at a time of heightened tensions between china and the west, including the u.s., and you could well push in the wrong direction of war in this instance, which is exactly what the world does not need right now. amy: the olympics are taking place during the pandemic. yaqiu wang, how is china dealing with this? there recognizing 900,000 people died of covid in united states with a population a quarter of china. there sing like a thousand people died. they have were times more people in china.
that disparity, even if it is an underestimate, is astounding. can you talk about covid in the pandemic in china and also how china and the athletes are being protected right now? >> well, it's affect china has low infection rate and the people are not dying from covid, but i have to say, you know, if draconian measures making people suffering in other ways. the chinese government has me covid zero infection ago. you can die from other -- you could die from other things, but not from covid. my performance will be judged by how many people get infected. there are stories, a woman eight months pregnant, she could not be admitted the hospital because she did not have a
negative covid test result so she lost her baby as a result. people died from heart attacks because they could not be admitted to the hospital because they do not have a covid negative result. while it is good the infection rates are low, people are not dying from covid, but people are suffering from other things. i have to mention, some people think it is a good policy but people don't actually have a say in how the covid policy is carried out whether they agree with it or not. it is a top-down thing implement a by the government that people have no choice. if you speak critically of the government's covid policy, you can be censored, harassed. we have to keep that in mind. amy: final comment, jule boykoff, on how the media is covering these olympics around the world? >> well, one thing they're
covering is the athlete dissent about these olympic games. there's been a lot of consternation from athletes that have an putting -- put in quarantine that have been am pleased with the kind of food they've been getting and on pleased the system of testing. you see numerous athletes have their olympic dreams scupped on the shoulders of covid. is important note in terms of wider contacts were sing up rise of olympic catholic speaking out justice run the world, the international olympic co mmitte and partners, athletes do not get the enormous profits the international of the committee enjoys. one important contextual study i think we should all be having in the backs of our minds as we watch these athletes on our screens isccording to one study, olympic athletes do not receive their fair share of the money pie. they compare the national basketball association, english premier league of football and other sports leagues come
athletes receive around 45% to 60% of the revenues. with the old epic athletes, only 4.1% of the revenues. -- with the olympic athletes, only 4.1% of the revenues. amy: we want to thank you both for being with us, jules boykoff , former professional athletes himself, former member of u.s. all the big soccer team. and yaqiu wang, senior china researcher at human rights watch. next up, the national football league is run like a plantation. that is the charge levied by former miami dolphins coach brian flores. he has filed a racial discrimination class-action lawsuit against the league. 70% of nfl players are black. all of the team owners are white. we will speak to former nfl player donté stallworth. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the nfl, national football league come is run like a plantation. that is the explosive charge levied by former miami dolphins coach brian flores in a class-action racial discrimination lawsuit filed last week on the first day of black history month against the league and three teams. while 70% of nfl players are black, all of the owners and nearly all of the head coaches are white. during the past season, there were three black head coaches but two of them were fired soon after the season ended. the class-action lawsuit stems from flores'firing by the dolphins in his attempt to get a new coaching job. as lawsuit alleged that giants had already decided to hire a new white coats before the team even conducted an interview withflores.
this might violate the rooney rule that requires teams interview candidates of color for open coping -- coaching positions. and as lawsuit, brian flores alleges he was also set up to fail as a coach when with the dolphins he claimed the team's owners once offered him $100,000 for each game he would lose in order to hope -- help the team get a better drop picked. we are now joined by donté stallworth who played in the nfl for 11 years. it is great to have you on democracy now! is the nfl a plantation, run like a plantation? >> well, amy, if you look at the story of the nfl's hiring practices, it does not seem there really making a lot of progress with the intention of implementation of the rooney rule. the rooney rule was named after dan rooney, former owner of the pittsburgh steelers and former
chairman of the diversity board in the nfl. this committee had a rule that essentially requires teams to implement in their hiring pracces to look at multiple diverse candidateand a head-coaching positions. it has been updated the last for years to also make surthe nfl in their hiring practices there also hiring novell personnel senior level. when you look at the last 129 coaching vacancies since the rooney rule has been implemented, there has only been 15 black head coaches that have come out of that. i believe the role was implemented in 2003 a couple months prior were you had to lawyers, one of who was johnnie cochran, two civil rights lawyers published a report basically stating where they found black head coaches in the nfl were more likely to be fired
and less likely to be hired than white counrparts. this has moved throughout not just in the nfl, but kind of shifted throughout even politics. i remember in 2005, former president obama urged tech leaders to adopt their own type of rooney rule that would encourage them and urge them to hire more minorities and more women. in senior level positions in the tech field. we look at what the nfl has tried to do, the implementation of the rooney rule and its inception was well-intentioned, but it hasn't really, especially the last four or five coaching cycles, has not really lived up to the billing of what the rooney rule was, what it was for, and the legacy of mr. rooney. amy: if you could comment more, on brian flores, son of hundred immigrants, black latinx coach,
40 years old, young, externally successful coach. are you and others afraid he will face the same kind of blackballing or should i say white bawling as a former quarterback: cap her neck? -- calling cap her neck. clothes that -- she's only four years old but he is been in the league -- >> he is only 40 years old but he has been in the league. he worked his way up as a scout in the personnel department and became a coach and ended up assisting in one of the greatest super bowls we have ever seen when malcolm butler at the end of the super bowl in arizona against the seattle seahawks and a great play. he was integral to that and that is why was able to get the coaching job of the miami dolphins. the miami dolphins have dobbin the greatest football team lately.
-- have not been the greatest football team lately. brian flores has been the most successful coach and yet here he is on the sidelines not participating as an coach but now filing a lawsuit because of what he alleges as discriminatory practices now. we know the nfl has not had the greatest record with their hiring practices. i know the nfl has tried to make efforts, especially after george floyd they were pushed by the players to do more in the diversity field to do more backing the players with human rights issues, different issues on race and things like that. the nfl is now in position where they're going to have to defend these claims against them. i don't know how well it is going to go from brian flores. i wish and the best. he is a great guy, great coach. he deserves an opportunity.
he has earned that opportunity. the nfl is obviously going to dig its heels in and hopefully at the end of this, brian flores will continue to coach and we can see changes in the nfl and the rooney rule and maybe revamp them and make more rules. at the end of the day, these rules and these regulations are all tied to the owners. the decision-makers are the team owners. the responsibility for the diversity of the nfl essentially lies at the doorstep of these team owners. amy: by the way, the miami dolphins just announced they have hired chief coach mike bandana from the 49ers who calls himself multiracial. i am sure he has a lot to thank flores for in that announcement that is coming right before the super bowl. the nfl commissioner roger goodell is going to give his state of the nfl address on wednesday before the super bowl. what do you want to hear him say? what are your demands of him? we have a minute.
>> i would love to hear roger beat more about what the nfl will do moving forward. we all know the record the nfl has with hiring black coaches in the past. even since the rooney rule has been implemeed. i believe in 2006, the most black head coaches at one point in the nfl, i think there were six or seven black head coaches but the so-called leash on coaching as i had coaches been much short than white counterparts. that is thfact that we have all seen. at the end of the day, i would love to hear roger talk about the steps the nfl plans to move forward with tangible results that we need to see from diversity in the nfl. the nfl commissioner. essentially, responsibility ultimately lies at the doorstep of team ownership, who are the ones making the decisions at the end of the day. amy: we want to thank you, donée stallworth, for joining us,
sports commentator and former nfl player who spent 10 years in the league. speaking to us from amsterdam. that does it for our show. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for a human resources manager. learn more and apply at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to