When people wax nostalgic about the “good, old days” of the NFL, few things personify that better than observing the maturity and character of today’s players versus yesterday’s players.
Today’s players have a propensity to kneel for the anthem to try and affect social change.
They then turn around and wear socks depicting police officers as pigs and shirts glorifying Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Despite the muddled message, those very same players then point the finger at everyday Americans, claiming that they’re “not listening” and “don’t understand” when they get upset over anthem protests.
Today’s players also seem to get confused when they get criticized for attacking a president who was democratically elected. Again, just more confusion and mixed messages.
The players of yesteryear are hardly a perfect bunch, but at least some of them seem to have a clearly defined moral compass.
Case in point, NFL legend Jim Brown — arguably the greatest running back of all time when he was dominating for the Cleveland Browns in the 1960s — makes crystal clear sense during his forays into the public political discourse.
Appearing on Fox Sports Radio’s “JT The Brick Show,” Brown opened up on a variety of NFL topics, including the controversial new helmet rule and his thoughts on some of the NFL’s more polarizing players.
Of course, considering the state of discourse in the world today, it was inevitable that politics would be broached as well.
Brown, 82, didn’t mince words. He openly admitted that he would support Trump in 2020 before elaborating.
“I should be criticizing Trump on every level because he does certain things that call for criticism but when I look at television I see all these announcers become experts and they’re pointing the fingers and they’re not doing a doggone thing but pointing their fingers, I find myself really pulling for the president,” Brown said.
That’s a fantastic salient point from Brown. The deification of any man, regardless of political or ideological alliances, is inherently dangerous. Trump’s not above reproach, and he shouldn’t be.
But when he’s not even given a fair chance, it’s hard not to start “pulling for the president.”
Brown pressed forward about how he’s fully aware of the potential backlash when it comes to supporting Trump. And he doesn’t care.
“Now, that would make me very unpopular in the black community, very unpopular with a lot of Americans … but I think that there are certain good things that are coming out of this presidency because we’ve never seen anything like it,” Brown said.
Again, Brown is dead-on correct. Trump can be quick-tempered and should probably provide less fodder to his detractors on Twitter than he already does, but that doesn’t preclude him from doing a good job. The economy is in the best shape that it’s been in years, all “covfefe” aside.
Ultimately, and this is probably the biggest difference between Brown and modern NFL players, the Browns legend put the onus on himself to affect meaningful social change. He didn’t point the finger at some nebulous boogeyman like Trump or the police.
“I believe that I have to work on myself first to be as good a person as I could be to back up my country as best as I know how.”
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