EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON

Just in case you thought that Trump went way off the reservation in virtually calling former San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick an SOB to loud crowd hoots at a campaign rally for Alabama Senate Republican candidate Luther Strange, he didn’t. The truth is that Trump has kept a vengeful close eye on the Kap-NFL debacle from day one. Last march at a post victory rally in Louisville, Trump virtually commanded NFL owners not to even think about bringing him back into the league. To quote, “they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump.”

Any owner who dared to sign Kap almost certainly would get that dreaded nasty tweet, and probably a lot more Trump bombast about betrayal, and disgust, at daring to sign him. Trump has got a thing about Kap for several reasons, to him, perfectly good reasons. The first is the owners. He really didn’t have to saber rattle the owners with the threat of a “nasty tweet,” not one was going to sign him anyway. Several owners played footsie with the press about considering him for a possible spot on their team roster. But they made it crystal clear that the fans would be in wholesale revolt against their team if they signed him.

That’s another reason, the fans. There was just enough anecdotal stuff from informal polls, surveys, angry letters from fans and hostile talk about Kap from sports radio jocks to cement the owner’s tacit decision to make him NFL unemployable.

To many, this duck for cover by the owners behind the fans, seemed ludicrous. Since when have billionaire owners and their GMs ever considered what the fans wanted in their player personnel decisions? The don’t, but Kap was totally different since there appears to be just enough antipathy and rage against him from a big swatch of the NFL fan base to make their claim of fan concern credible. Trump is aware of the legion of fans that disdain Kap, and felt comfortable shouting to the Alabama campaign rally that the NFL owners should give him and anyone else who disrespects the flag and the national anthem a swift boot out of the NFL. The crowd ate it up, because many of them are exactly the kind of fan that the NFL owners have in mind who would rebel against Kap on an NFL team.

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