When President Donald Trump spoke in Alabama on Friday against NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, he also appeared to come out in favor of concussions.
During his speech, Trump argued that rules designed to minimize concussions and CTE, a neurodegenerative disease, are ruining the game:
“Today if you hit too hard ―15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television ― his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.”
ESPN analyst Kevin Blackistone was interviewed by MSNBC’s Nicholle Wallace on Monday to argue a shocking point: The reason the president prefers violent football games is because it ensures more black men get hurt.
Blackistone first reminded viewers that black males make up the majority of NFL players ― and the majority of concussions.
“You look at stacking by position and those positions that suffer the greatest from CTE, they’re the positions that black males are more often likely to play,” Blackistone said.
Blackistone said the fact that Trump dismissed details like that as well as suggesting CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, does not exist shows a callousness toward the athletes, adding: ”And, particularly, the black athletes who play this game.”
″[Trump] did not have to say explicitly anything about black players, but it came across loud and clear. When you put that with his background, it paints a really ugly picture in terms of the way this president happens to see black America and the black males that play these sports in particular.”
The complete segment appears below: