THE WORLD KNEES NOW. President Trump’s call to fire NFL players who kneel during the national anthem has triggered “a seismic shift for a league that has been loath to allow any kind of individuality,” resulting in widespread kneeling and arm-linking.
■ … by owners and coaches.
■ … by Trump’s “good friend,” Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady.
■ … by singers of the anthem.
■ … by a World War II veteran.
■ … by Stevie Wonder and Pharrell Williams.
■ … and pushing actual game scores off sports section front pages.
AMONG MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS. One opposing view: “If you don’t like American’s respecting our flag, and those who fight to defend it, Leave it!!”
■ … A view shared by Illinois' governor.
■ Judd Legum in ThinkProgress: “This idea — that public protests taking a stand against racial injustice are well-intentioned but ultimately counterproductive — is exactly the view most Americans held of the civil rights protests in the 1960s.”
■ Rick Morrissey in the Sun-Times: “The anthem isn’t the property of the military, nor does the singing of it honor soldiers more than it does anyone else.”
■ SB Nation’s Zito Madu: The NFL is using the word unity “to avoid talking about Colin Kaepernick,” who originated kneeling as a protest against racism.
■ Kaepernick’s mom answers Trump’s insult: “Guess that makes me a proud bitch!”
■ Mary Mitchell in the Sun-Times: “When these black players … leave the stadium, they are considered n****** and they know it.”
■ RedState columnist Caleb Howe: “Whether Kaepernick intended it or not, it’s about Trump, now.”
■ Neil Steinberg in the Sun-Times: “White nationalists can spout their corrosive psycho BS and, when called on it, wave the First Amendment and everybody demurs. But let black men point to real problems in our country and the president of the United States himself tries to shove a rag in their mouths.”
■ Wonkette: “Loser Trump Losing Culture War To The Big Men Who Play With Balls.”
■ And now the president
■ But the Columbia Journalism Review raises the prospect “Trump is using the issue as a distraction, attempting to appeal to his base while creating a news cycle that overwhelms coverage of the stalled Obamacare repeal effort, revised immigration ban, and continuing Russia investigation.”
MORE RECORD HEAT? Tom Skilling says a break from the sweltering weather is ahead, but first we have to get through today.
MUSIC THAT GOT THIS ISSUE OUT THE DIGITAL DOOR. A Jonathan Coulton-inspired playlist.