When Did Trump Buy Up All NFL Teams?
Trump acts as if he has bought up all NFL teams and all players contracts. NFL teams have been losing audiences, supposedly over a few players exercising their First Amendment rights to passively protest over the treatment of blacks by police. Their concerns have been heightened by Attorney General Jeff Sessions canceling Justice Department programs to educate police about stereotyping in their actions. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution demands that all people be treated equally under the law.
Donald Trump has effectively instigated his own boycott of the NFL. He wished that NFL owners would fire protestors on the spot. First of all, where does anybody, much less the President of the United States, assume the right to tell any American industries who or when to hire and fire. Especially, when it would cause the owners to be sued due to violating job fairness rules in players contracts, in player’s Union rules, and under civil rights laws. 70% of NFL players are black, and the protestors are mainly black, and demonstrating about the violation of the civil rights of many blacks in the US.
Trump is only thinking about his reelection, and knows that he is not going to lose non-existent black votes by these actions, but encourage those who unfortunately bring racial prejudice into his campaign.
Trump compounded his stance and effected the boycott by sending his Vice President to travel all the way to an NFL game, and then walk out immediately when a protestor knelt at the National Anthem. I doubt if any other Vice President would have done Trump’s bidding, both labeling himself as unsympathetic to black causes, and obsequious to a fault.
Trump claims that he will back American enterprises. Let’s look at the size of the NFL business. In 2016, the “NFL’s total revenues were projected to surpass $13.3 billion, up more than 50% from 2010” (Forbes, Jason Belzar, Feb. 29, 2016). 1800 players would share some $6.4 billion, based on about half of league revenue. This is mainly from TV revenue, and the networks also benefit proportionately to this. The 2017 value of NFL teams ranged (Forbes) from $1.6 billion to $4.8 billion (Dallas Cowboys), with second being $3.7 billion (New England Patriots) (and Los Angeles Rams, who practice at UC Irvine, #6 at $3.0 billion). The total value of the teams is about $81 billion, with an average of $2.5 billion per franchise. The 32 teams being hurt are around the nation in blue and red states alike, and about 30 cities. Also damaged are their TV networks, including Trump’s guiding light, Fox News. Trump’s favorite targets, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, are not directly affected. If Trump’s supporters are not watching the NFL around election time, they have more time to get informed, or indoctrinated, as they choose.
I presume that the President cannot be sued for the loses that he has caused the teams. But can the Vice President? Actually, all the Vice President did was to EXERCISE HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS by walking out of the game in protest. And, you cannot punish ANYBODY for exercising THEIR First Amendment Rights.
But you can score Presidents for violating their oath of office. That is the only thing that the President had to swear to to take office: “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The quotes are given because Trump actually took that oath. There is no mention of the flag or of the national anthem in there, but only of the Constitution.