Two days. That's how long it took for the nation to hear President Donald Trump condemn white nationalists for the bloody August 12th demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia. 54 minutes. Where Charlottesville took him two days, it took Trump less than an hour to react to Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth C. Frazier announcing his resignation from the American Manufacturing Council following the Charlottesville aftermath.
Moreover, in September, other than baiting "Rocket man," Trump strummed up a war on sports, namely black athletes, all as the back to back hurricanes ravished several parts of the country. This finger-wagging continued as Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico. After keeping mum on the crisis for days, Trump eventually hopped on Twitter to blame the U.S. territory's infrastructure and the amount of debts owed to Wall Street. After pressure from Puerto Rican officials and the likes of Senator John McCain in D.C., he lifted the Jones Act. But not before long, Trump was back to blasting NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem.
"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, out, he's fired. He's fired,'" Trump said during a campaign rally for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange on September 23rd. "You know, some owner is going to do that. He's going to say, 'That guy that disrespects our flag, he's fired.' And that owner, they don't know it [but] they'll be the most popular person in this country."
This "us versus them" conflict is a tactic the President has embraced since his infamous presidential campaign. But now, it's spreading from politics and patriotism to sports, a platform that has long been a haven for unity — that is until now.
The latest target of Trump's "crusade" is ESPN's Jemele Hill, who was suspended for two weeks after a series of tweets on Sunday night (October 8) about Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. The messages from Hill were sent after it was reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that any players on the team who protested during the national anthem would be disallowed from playing. In response, Hill suggested a few effective ways for fans to send a message to Jones.
No, I think the Cowboy fans -- the paying customers -- need to pick up this fight. Don't look to Dez or Dak. YOU do it. https://t.co/f9YjZFgGGt— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
This play always work. Change happens when advertisers are impacted. If you feel strongly about JJ's statement, boycott his advertisers. https://t.co/LFXJ9YQe74— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
While Hill would later tweet that she was not suggesting a boycott, the initial tweets seems to have been a factor in ESPN's decision, considering that the company holds NFL broadcast rights as well as possibly some of the same advertisers as the Dallas Cowboys.
Just so we're clear: I'm not advocating a NFL boycott. But an unfair burden has been put on players in Dallas & Miami w/ anthem directives.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 9, 2017
Unsurprisingly, despite the growing concern surrounding the nation's gun laws following the horrific aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre, an incident in which the nation's leader remains mum on whether it was an act of domestic terrorism, Trump instead hopped on Twitter this morning (October 10) to issue a prompt response to Hill's suspension and push the narrative that ESPN's rating have "tanked." But what does this have to do with the pressing domestic issues at hand?
Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have "tanked," in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Since taking power, Trump has done more to protect his image and political gains than actually owning up to the brewing domestic issues that have actual impact on the people of the country. Back in August, a makeshift bomb went off at a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota and to date, he has yet to acknowledge the incident. In that same week, however, he did retweet this message:
President Trump vows America will respond to North Korean threats with "fire & fury" in a warning to the rogue nation pic.twitter.com/UaE2rPkZ6f— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 9, 2017
In the hours that his tweets concerning Jemele were published, more than 100 residents of Northern California were reported missing as one of the deadliest wildfire outbreaks tear the state. At least 13 people have been killed, while 100 others are injured after more than a dozen fires broke out across the state on Sunday and Monday.
Over in Puerto Rico, the official death toll rose to 43 today (October 10), as hospitals struggle to provide care for an influx of patients. As New York Times reports, about 40 percent of the island still lacks running water due to the blackout, which still, three weeks after Maria, affects 85 percent of the island. This has led to many people bathing in streams and receiving non-potable water from huge tanks.
But do these issues give the POTUS itchy Twitter fingers? No.
The Failing @nytimes set Liddle' Bob Corker up by recording his conversation. Was made to sound a fool, and that's what I am dealing with!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Instead, his recent focus, via tweets, has been slamming the "failing" New York Times for interviews in which members of his own staff call him out. And if it isn't that, it's Trump's crusade against the biggest threat to domestic and foreign policy...
Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.