September 25, 2017

HE CHOSE WISELY: Trump v. Tattooed Millionaires. Steve Malanga in City Journal:

Once upon a time, professional athletes not only came out of working-class, scrappy neighborhoods, but they also pretty much stayed working class their entire lives. Until as recently as the late 1960s, NFL linemen worked construction or loaded trucks in the offseason to pay their bills. Players with a college degree traded on their celebrity status to sell stocks or insurance. (The policy my mother cashed in when my father died was sold to him in the early 1960s by a retired New York Giants player). Many of today’s players, by contrast, live in a world of ostentatious homes, fast cars, and red-carpet celebrity appearances, far from the struggles of those whose support pays their salaries. These players have deemed themselves important enough to impose their political views on ordinary fans watching sports as a respite from life’s daily grind. . . .

If players and officials think Trump will retreat on this issue, they haven’t been paying attention. And if they believe that their world is impervious, they’ve forgotten that America has had, over the last 75 years, several different favorite sports—from boxing to baseball—that eventually gave way.

Players, sportswriters, and maybe even the owners seem to think that fans will find it impossible to give up football on Sundays in the fall. It’s not.

But hey, didn’t Hillary Clinton prove you don’t need those blue-collar plebes anyway?


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