Bob Franken

Bob Franken

Edward M. Pio Roda

I'm ending my National Football League boycott. My faithful readers, both of you, are aware that I have not been watching NFL games because the teams are blackballing quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick set off an uproar by refusing to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a protest against U.S racism and, specifically, deadly police brutality inflicted on minorities.

More players steadily have joined him, mainly by taking a knee when the national anthem plays. But they really took up the cause when President Donald Trump decided to pander to the crowd with some crude remarks at a rally in Alabama. In a subsequent rant on Twitter, he suggested an NFL boycott. That's enough for me. Mine is over, even though Kaepernick, who is obviously more qualified than many other quarterbacks, still is being shunned by owners and coaches.

So POTUS decided he really, truly needed to dive into still another poop pile. He just can't resist them, sort of like a dog rolling around in them -- except that dogs are wonderful, when they're not rolling around in poop piles.

I don't know why I'm using such polite language, considering that I must now issue a Profanity Alert to continue. That's so you can cover the eyes of your kiddies, even though they constantly utter obscenities the moment you're out of earshot. Ready? Quoth President Trump: "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'get that son of a bitch off the field right now — he's fired.'"

I am so confused: Does the current president want us to stand for all anthems of his various supporters, and salute all their flags? There are so many. Besides "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the Stars and Stripes, there's "Dixie" and the Stars and Bars. Must we show respect when his neo-Nazis fans goose-step while carrying their swastika symbols? And how about the hammer and sickle revered by his comrade, Vladimir Putin? (Excuse me, alleged comrade.) Yes, I know, that's not the Russian flag anymore, but Putin clearly wants to return to the glory days. I wonder if he has considered a baseball hat with lettering that says: "Make the Soviet Union Great Again." It would be red, of course. Oh, wait ...

Trump's diatribe was so obnoxious that it even got NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to leave his usual defensive crouch and complain that "Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect." Strikingly, Goodell was joined by several team owners who also stood up for and with their players -- even the New England Patriots' Robert Kraft, a buddy of Trump's, who weighed in with, "I support their right to peacefully affect social change."

But our fearless leader was not content with dissing off the players in one game. The Trumpster also heaped garbage on professional basketball, in particular Stephen Curry, who had expressed reservations about joining his NBA champion Golden State Warriors for the traditional White House congratulatory visit. Trump decided to wallow in that one too, tweeting "Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" That caused still another tweet storm. LeBron James, in support of Curry: "Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!" He also called the chief executive "U bum," which is a relatively mild putdown. Others had harsher descriptions of Donald Trump, but you don't need another profanity alert. The Warriors, by the way, voted as an entire team not to attend the White House festivities.

All of this is happening at the same time our commander in chief is engaging in an escalating war of words with North Korea's supreme leader. Hopefully that won't spin out of control into a nuclear war.

Besides, President Dotard is busy. He's created a spreading firestorm in the jock world as huge numbers of outraged players in several sports are showing disgust for him by taking a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner" and otherwise showing their disgust. Maybe Trump has cleared the way for Kaepernick, so my boycott is done and I can return to being a couch potato.

(c) 2017 Bob Franken

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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