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*** UPDATED x4 - DGA, Pritzker, Pawar, Biss respond *** Rauner speaks out on NFL protests

Monday, Sep 25, 2017

* We all know what President Trump said about the NFL protests, and we know what happened with the Steelers before Sunday’s game in Chicago, but here’s what Gov. Rauner says

GUESS WHO HAS A FINANCIAL STAKE IN THE STEELERS? Gov. Bruce Rauner. And on Sunday, the governor called the NFL protests disrespectful to veterans, to the U.S. flag and to the anthem.

“I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem,” Rauner told POLITICO through a spokesman. “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties.” […]

While Rauner’s statement supports Trump’s characterization that the demonstrations are a sign of disrespect, he didn’t go as far as the president in urging a boycott of teams or the firing of players as retribution.

“I personally cannot and will not condone such behavior,” Rauner’s statement continued. “That said, our country is great because it guarantees freedom of expression, so people can choose to be disrespectful.”

Keep your comments confined to what the governor said, please. Thanks.

*** UPDATE 1 ***  Press release…

Daniel Biss released the following statement in response to Governor Rauner’s condemnation of NFL protests.

“Our country was founded on relentlessly pursuing liberty, fighting injustice, and doing our part to build a more perfect union. So let’s be clear—protests at NFL games this weekend and over the past year are responding to police brutality and institutional racism, and there isn’t anything more fundamentally American than that. We should all be taking a knee.

“But by embracing Donald Trump’s condemnation, Bruce Rauner joins his fellow inexperienced billionaire in misleading the public about the purpose of these protests. As a father, husband, state senator, and candidate for governor, I know that it is my responsibility to be part of the solution—especially as Rauner and Trump have continued to be part of the problem.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Pawar campaign…

“It’s frightening when our leaders frame peaceful and non-violent demonstrations against racism, bigotry, and injustice as disrespectful to our flag and military. Make no mistake, this is the same tactic Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner use to suppress the voices of Black Lives Matter activists who speak out on police brutality and institutional racism. They get labeled as anti-police and are accused of disrespecting the job of first responders. This is wrong.

“That said, it’s equally frightening when our elected leaders drive wedges between people based on race, class, and geography so that their political base becomes the largest group that remains. This is how racists and bigots hold onto power. By changing the frame of the protest, Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner continually fail to understand and express empathy for the experiences of the marginalized in the United States of America. This is the definition of white privilege. And it’s a slap in the face to everyone who has marched, fought, and given their lives for civil rights,” said Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward alderman and Democratic candidate for governor.

“Gov. Bruce Rauner is quick to take a stand against professional athletes who choose to take a knee to peacefully protest police brutality and institutional racism, but he won’t take a stand on the Graham-Cassidy bill which would cause a million Illinoisans to lose health insurance. He also refuses to take a hard stand on H.B. 40, a bill which aims to protect women’s medical rights in Illinois.

“As Illinois residents and voters, I think it’s our right to know where the Governor stands on the issues facing our state. Whether we agree or disagree with any given position, we need a governor with enough courage to state his position and then defend it. That’s honorable. Bruce Rauner is a coward,” said Tom Elliott, communications director for the Ameya Pawar for Governor campaign.

*** UPDATE 3 *** JB Pritzker…

“The decision of NFL players to take a knee to protest racial injustice is entirely American. It is an expression of our country’s foundational rights and beliefs. I would urge Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner to redirect their outrage to our broken criminal justice system instead of a peaceful protest. Let’s have a conversation about how we address what they’re protesting, not their right to protest.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** DGA…

“The fact that Bruce Rauner will comment on a sports debate and not on legislation that can take away health care from a million Illinois residents shows just how misplaced his priorities really are,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Time after time Rauner has refused to protect or fight for Illinois families on issues of extreme consequence. His abdication of leadership on issues like Trumpcare will only lead to families getting hurt. But just like he did on the state’s education bill, Rauner’s decided to play into the politics of division in support of his political future. Rauner’s statement on the NFL protest is just another example of his failed leadership.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

154 Comments
  1. - Served - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    His statement is certainly emblematic of his tenure in the office, especially the past few months.

    Also, I hope he’s been able to take a look at that IPI cartoon by now.


  2. - honeybadger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    It is not about the flag or the national anthem, it’s about the injustices minorities face in our country.


  3. - bandofbrothers - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    I dislike Rauner, but this is the right answer.


  4. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why he prioritized commenting on *this* issue over Graham-Cassidy, HB40, Trump, etc.


  5. - JoeMaddon - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:35 am:

    To what the Governor said: This has nothing to do with disrespecting our flag our the veterans that have fought for this country. While I know that this is the easy and convenient talking point against the protests, it is also a complete straw man.

    It is also somewhat stunning that Rauner was unable and unwilling to condemn domestic violence in the NFL, but is willing to condemn kneeling in silent protest? And he still hasn’t issued any real statement about Graham/Cassidy and it’s horrendous impact on Illinois, but he can condemn kneeling?

    These protests aren’t about the flag. Or the national anthem. Or our troops. These protests are about system racism and the killing of black people.

    Rauner and others who pretend otherwise simply don’t want to engage in the real issues that the protests are about.


  6. - Texas Red - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Based on the reactions of most of the fans at the Bears game, Rauner has lots of company in his opinion.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/boos-accompany-national-anthem-protest-at-soldier-field/


  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    ===“I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem,” Rauner told POLITICO through a spokesman. “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties.”===

    Seems Art Rooney II kinda-sorta disagrees with ya, governor.

    Your lack of understanding what the Steelers Organization is saying, and your statement, and even Mr. Kraft’s statement, se to be geared towards NASCAR and less towards the understanding of the Steelers players, ownership, or the organization as a whole.


  8. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    I mean, really, Rauner’s finally roused to take a stand on what an out-of-work quarterback does before a game?


  9. - 47th Ward - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    Equating the taking of a knee during the National Anthem as “disrespecting the flag” are intentionally obtuse. Peaceful, civil protest against injustice is the finest tribute to the flag and the nation whose laws that we cherish. The flag is a symbol of what we love, and what we love is an idea, that all men are created equal and we can govern ourselves only if all are treated equally under the law.

    Suggesting the form of protest is the problem is intentionally missing the point and deflecting from the reason these protests first began. President Trump put gasoline on the fire to distract the country, not to heal any wounds. Rauner is following meekly.

    Sad.


  10. - South of Sherman - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country…”

    Peaceful protest IS one of the foundations of our country.


  11. - Rocky Rosi - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    I don’t understand this brand of politics. Too many dog whistles are dividing the nation. I just don’t understand.


  12. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    “they should protest peacefully”

    *Peaceful protest*

    “Wait, not like that”


  13. - 47th Ward - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    I obviously haven’t had enough coffee this morning. I usually have typos in my comments, but wow, even for me, that’s hardly legible. I’ll try to do better next time.


  14. - Fax Machine - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    Sounds like he’s using a red meat issue to curry favor with the right wing base he’s about to enrage when he signs HB40


  15. - Linus - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    What Fax Machine said.


  16. - Nieva - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    Bruce is right on. This is going to cost the NFL a ton of money before it is over.


  17. - anon - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    Fax machine makes an interesting point. Maybe he’s trying to soften up the right with this red meat in advance of his angering them by signing HB40? Interesting perspective on why he would choose to insert himself here.


  18. - Northsider - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    47th Ward @ 9:38 a.m. nails it, typos and all.


  19. - Anonymous Sox Fan - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:46 am:

    He believes people should not disrespect to our anthem, but is he aware that the third verse of the star spangled banner revels in the death of slaves who escaped to freedom during the war of 1812?


  20. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    - 47th Ward -, well said.

    Where Rauner fails, Bob Costas understands.

    Do yourself a solid, look up Costas’ remarks today. It’s worth the 96 or so seconds.


  21. - Actual Red - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    I have seen a lot of folks — now including Rauner — say things to the effect of “If they want to protest, fine, but this is the wrong way to do it.”

    I have yet to see any of these people point to an actual method of protest they’d find more acceptable.

    But that’s because its not about how they are doing it, it’s the fact that it’s being done.

    More meat for the base, more whistles for the dogs. Disappointing but not surprising in the least.


  22. - New Slang - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    Narrow minded people have a propensity to make narrow minded comments. There’s a bigger picture here.

    Older folks have a tendency to be stuck in their ways. It’s unfortunate.


  23. - Kyle Hillman - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    I think Mary Mitchell’s column today would be a good read for The Best Team in America™ 2.


  24. - Retired Educator - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Had 99% of our population shown up to work and engaged in a protest over any issue, they would be disciplined , and perhaps fired. No one is saying speaking out against an issue is wrong. The forum is the problem.


  25. - George - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:51 am:

    “I mean, it’s one thing to run your state into the ground for petty personal and philosophical differences, leaving it near bankrupt and unable to function. But taking a knee during the national anthem before a football game? That’s were I draw the line when I consider what it means to be patriotic.”


  26. - T - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Thank you, band of brothers, for reminding everyone about Kap’s reason for kneeling. May this be the year we finally tackle violence against people of color.


  27. - a drop in - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    “I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our mothers by calling someone a SOB Rauner never said.


  28. - Henry Francis - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Really odd that for a guy who is so scared to unequivocally take a position on just about anything that doesn’t include the weakening of collective bargaining rights - that he would speak out so strongly on this issue.

    I would be more interested if someone asked him who he was rooting for yesterday, Bears or the Steelers.


  29. - A guy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    It’s a well crafted statement and falls within the parameters of reasonable thought.

    For all those who honestly believe the anthem is the right time and right place for this kind of protest; What if you had to endure this at the Symphony, the Theater (been occurring) a restaurant, movie theatre or any other entertainment venue?

    Before Kickoff, these guys are at work and on the clock. If they want to express themselves elsewhere and otherwise, I have no doubt a TV Camera or 5 would show up to register their dissatisfaction.

    It’s not about the Anthem? So they say. But that’s when it’s occurring, so actually it is. Many athletes do show up in tough neighborhoods with clergy, or hospitals or natural disasters…they deserve a lot of credit for sharing their personal time and treasure.

    The lone Steeler who discreetly demonstrated that he had “no choice” but to respect the flag and the anthem and said nothing before and after was the teaching lesson of the day for me. When I see very tough men and women shed a tear at the sound of that song, I understand or at least relate to what love and patriotism for a country is. When I see a person kneel or sit, I change the channel.


  30. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    ==Had 99% of our population shown up to work and engaged in a protest over any issue, they would be disciplined , and perhaps fired.==

    OK, but the players’ bosses have said this is OK.


  31. - City Zen - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    ==Based on the reactions of most of the fans at the Bears game, Rauner has lots of company in his opinion.==

    The customer is always right…in not wanting to be preached to while spending thousands of dollars to watch a mediocre team in 90 degree heat.


  32. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    The “foundations of our country” are not to be found in a piece of cloth and an English drinking song.

    They are to be found in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, the latter of which guarantees freedom of speech.

    Rauner needs a civics class.


  33. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    I just heard a writer from The Nation - which is obviously a biased source - claim on The Dan Patrick Show that the protests/actions are not costing the NFL any fans. Not so sure about that. The Shield depends on - and thrives on - things like PSLs, Sunday Ticket subscriptions, and corporate suite purchases. If some of those markedly drop off then NFL owners might start singing a different tune.


  34. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    ==What if you had to endure this at the Symphony, the Theater (been occurring) a restaurant, movie theatre or any other entertainment venue?==

    A guy silently taking a knee while you stand and sing along isn’t very hard to endure.


  35. - cdog - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    Good for Rauner to finally put some words of principle with all that money he throws around this state.

    Patriotism is good and showing it on your personal time is even better. No employee of mine is going to exercise their free speech to the detriment of my rights as a business owner.

    Maybe Rauner can now weigh in on the CPD FOP not wanting to be restrained by new Use of Force policies.

    These protests are all about the weed garden of oppression. Rauner and Trump should be cautious demanding patriotism from people that feel oppressed. Chicago minorities have a very good case to make to prove oppression.

    Get stronger Rauner. I know there’s some values somewhere in all that word jumble.


  36. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country”

    Our country was founded in 1776.

    The national anthem was adopted in 1931.

    “the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy,”

    Speaking as an actual veteran, we good.

    “and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties.”

    Defending “our liberties” is one of the primary reasons I joined the military. A citizen’s right to protest the actions of the state is one of the most fundamental of those liberties.

    – MrJM


  37. - Actual Red - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    @Retired Educator
    ==Had 99% of our population shown up to work and engaged in a protest over any issue, they would be disciplined , and perhaps fired. No one is saying speaking out against an issue is wrong. The forum is the problem.==

    That may be true. But 1) the president wouldn’t typically encourage their employer to fire them 2)I don’t think that’s a good thing. Employers certainly have a huge amount of control over their employees due to the ease of firing people and the fact that most people rely on their jobs for survival. These athletes have a forum to make a stand, and Kaepernick has shown that he was willing to lose his job over it. They absolutely have a platform most people don’t, but I don’t see why that should be an argument against them using their influence to make a point.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    ===It’s not about the Anthem? So they say. But that’s when it’s occurring, so actually it is.===

    No. Listen to what Costas says on this then compare the Rauner statement.

    ===It’s a well crafted statement…===

    … for a simple response to give red meat to those lacking what this is all about.

    Costas cites Martin Luther King, Jr. and social workers and teachers and all that the flag and the anthem represent too.

    Rauner can only see simple things. Simple things and anger. Well-crafted… anger.


  39. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Rauner spoke at the Gold Star Mothers Ceremony yesterday so the conflict between supporting the right to free expression and dislike for the disrespect displayed might have been stronger than usual.

    I support the right of Nazis to march peacefully, but despise their message. It is different when one represents a company or an organization. You can’t wear a uniform on active duty and participate in a political rally. Somebody showing up at work in Klan regalia might be fired.


  40. - GraduatedCollegeStudent - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    ===I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why he prioritized commenting on *this* issue over Graham-Cassidy, HB40, Trump, etc.===

    Rauner can’t stand to see an “uppity” workforce.


  41. - Retired Educator - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    We the people, buy the tickets, watch the games, buy the products, and support the league. In essence we are the bosses. Without the support of the fans, the league falters, and will lose money. The owners may be running a little scared, but I think an acceptable medium will be the outcome.


  42. - Dublin - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Like it or not - the Military, National Anthem and Flag are intertwined in our history and our ideas.

    It was the VFW that lobbied for the Star Spangled Banner to become our National Anthem.

    The flag is draped over the casket of our fallen service members.

    Most events I’ve been to, the announcer will state “Please rise to honor our military and for the singing of the National Anthem”.

    As a veteran, I feel disrespected.

    I am 100% behind the protests for social injustice, but this is the wrong path. The protesters are not making any headway - they are alienating the same people they need to convince otherwise.

    NFL players have celebrity. They have money. There are numerous ways to make a point without this type of protest. Create a non-profit, advertising, sit out the games. There are plenty of ways to make a point.


  43. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Rauner’s actions versus Rauner’s words.
    Symbolism over Substance.


  44. - a drop in - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    ==What if you had to endure this at the Symphony, the Theater (been occurring) a restaurant, movie theatre or any other entertainment venue?==

    In India, you have to stand when the anthem is played or face arrest. Would that be your preference?


  45. - A guy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    ==A guy silently taking a knee while you stand and sing along isn’t very hard to endure.===

    Unless you or someone you loved paid a price for that very freedom…


  46. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    ===Most events I’ve been to, the announcer will state “Please rise to honor our military and for the singing of the National Anthem”.===

    Really?

    When was the film projector stopped and we heard the national anthem?

    What play has not gone on before the anthem was needed to be played?

    There are many entertainment events or dates that don’t play the anthem.

    Listen to Costas’ take, he addresses this point specifically


  47. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    NFL players weren’t expected to be on the field for the anthem until 2009, when the NFL started getting Dept. of Defense contract to promote patriotism in the sport. This is such a dumb controversy.

    Also if we need our NFL to respect the flag so much, can Rauner use his platform to tell the Bears and NFL it is against the flag code to display the flag horizontally the way they do for tv purposes?

    Finally, it’s so obnoxious to hear people in politics who defend waving the Confederate flag in 2017 act like an athlete taking a knee during the anthem is crapping on soldiers on par with “baby killer” taunts after Vietnam.


  48. - A guy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    ===In India, you have to stand when the anthem is played or face arrest. Would that be your preference?==

    Don’t be a dope. I could care less what they do in India.
    My preference is that the people who benefit at the highest levels of the American Dream make their individual statements on their own time.


  49. - Augie - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Unfortunately he along with the POTUS is trying to redefine what they are protesting for political gain or it just means they have very poor listening skills, the protest is about social injustice and the lack of government to try and start correcting it. The fact that POTUS and Rauner want to make it about something else tells me no real effort coming any time soon to help solve some very difficult problems. I don’t see this ending anytime soon. I respect the Steelers soldier/player who stood alone and I respect the players and people who are trying to be heard by participating in peacefull protests. There is no bad people here and we should not let them divide us on this.


  50. - Under Influenced... - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    Football players have the same right to peacefully demonstrate as you have the right to not watch.

    And for your righteous patriots, I’m going take a gamble you aren’t blaring the anthem every morning to start your day. Stop whining that people who get paid to play a game don’t behave the way YOU want them to.

    I think it’s pretty telling that the governor decides to weigh-in on this issue but beyond a comment or two, appears fairly indifferent on the possibility of the state losing billions in healthcare support.


  51. - Can - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:12 am:

    Rauner’s statement was as disappointing as it was predictable. This started with athletes, specifically Colin Kaepernick, using their platform to protest a variety of social ills plaguing people of color in this country, including police brutality and other injustices.

    I wish the American-as-apple-pie set, like the Governor of the 5th largest state, that is so horrified by these protests were half as horrified about the way minorities are treated on a daily basis here in good ol’ ‘Murica.


  52. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    ==Unless you or someone you loved paid a price for that very freedom…==

    I can tell you from experience, it remains pretty easy to endure.


  53. - Texas Red - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    Let them speak - but words have consequences and Americans are free to “speak” with their pocketbooks and viewing habits.. From Reuters…

    ” NBC said 11.6 percent of households tuned into the National Football League game between the Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins on Sunday night, down from 12.9 percent who viewed the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys match-up last season.”


  54. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    Funny…

    No one finds it odd that Governor Rauner considers himself, with passed and signed legislation too, and advocate and champion for criminal justice reform…

    … and some of the reasons and rationale started by Kaepernick were rooted in… social injustice?

    I find that… funny.


  55. - Dublin - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    -OW-

    I attend at least 10 Cardinals games a year - and they say it every single time.

    I wouldn’t call going to a movie or a play - an event and no they do not play the anthem at everything - I said “Most events I’ve been to, the announcer will state…” That means most events I’ve been to that play the anthem.

    Reading is fundamental.

    Costas addressed my exact point. He didn’t say that they shouldn’t stand.


  56. - ZC - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    When you have scant few accomplishments going on four years, defend the flag, I guess.


  57. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ==” NBC said 11.6 percent of households tuned into the National Football League game between the Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins on Sunday night, down from 12.9 percent who viewed the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys match-up last season.”==

    Of course, comparing a game featuring the moribund Raiders and Redskins to a game featuring America’s Team ™ is kind of fraught.


  58. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Reading is fundamental.

    Just because you may not attend events, doesn’t mean that the rationale as the sole reason why the anthem is to be heard or played.

    ===I wouldn’t call going to a movie or a play - an event and no they do not play the anthem at everything.===

    Your respect, or lack thereof of, of the arts is noted, and also sad to hear.

    ===Costas addressed my exact point. He didn’t say that they shouldn’t stand===

    Costas also said that the flag and anthem as a sole symbol for military recognition is losing a great deal to what is going on today.

    Respectfully.


  59. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    “Up the streets the dogs are barkin’….”

    It’s an obvious and scurrilous lie to say that the NFL protesters silent, peaceful gesture was disrespectful to the flag or those who have served.

    They were protesting police brutality, the black-balling of Kapernick and our sober, dignified president calling silent, peaceful protesters SOBs to distract from his failures and investigation of the special counsel.

    The flag represents and service members have died for the 1st Amendment right that they exercised. Peaceful protesters honor their sacrifice. And Trump and Rauner took oaths to defend that right.

    Wrapping yourself in the flag is the last refuge of scoundrels, who just may be failing, unscrupulous politicians with approval ratings under 35% looking to change the subject.


  60. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    “I am 100% behind the protests for social injustice, but this is the wrong path.”

    I keep hearing variations on this theme, to which I ask: What path are you advocating? What path are you on?

    If this path — men silently, peacefully taking a knee — is so intolerable, what is the righteous path to be taken?

    – MrJM


  61. - tbf - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    “For all those who honestly believe the anthem is the right time and right place for this kind of protest; What if you had to endure this at the Symphony, the Theater (been occurring) a restaurant, movie theatre or any other entertainment venue?”

    When those in power and we as a society refuse to face the systemic racism that still exists then yes, I expect to see this at my “entertainment venue”. Peaceful protest isn’t supposed to be convenient, it is meant to raise awareness.


  62. - Fixer - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    My $0.02 on this is if you want to stand, go for it. Kneel, fine. It has exactly zero impact on my ability to enjoy a game. I don’t watch sports for more politics. I get enough of that through my job and employer.

    Would I prefer to see everyone standing for it? Yeah, absolutely. Do I think there are better paths to affecting change? Yes, and some of the players kneeling or sitting for the anthem are pursuing those. More should follow those examples of putting their money and time behind those efforts if that’s where they feel the change should be.

    Ultimately, though, Rauner and the President are both wrong on this issue. These guys have as much a right to kneel for the anthem as others have to stand for it. Vets fought and died for people to have that choice, that freedom. Not for a piece of cloth and a song.


  63. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    Arsenal -

    1. SNF is routinely either the top-rated or one of the top-rated weekly TV programs.

    2. Neither the Raiders or Redskins are moribund. Oakland is an up-and-coming team and both are national franchises.

    3. Advertisers are going to take notice if this trend continues.


  64. - City Zen - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    My fantasy football league’s scoring includes Points Per Protest: 1 point per knee taken and arm locked. If done in tandem, one bonus point is awarded.


  65. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    ==1. SNF is routinely either the top-rated or one of the top-rated weekly TV programs.==

    Did it drop to #2 last night?

    ==2. Neither the Raiders or Redskins are moribund. Oakland is an up-and-coming team and both are national franchises.==

    They both have had trouble maintaining their fanbases in recent years due to controversy paired with poor performance. The Raiders may shake off that second prong soon, but it usually takes fans a few minutes to come back (Especially as the Raiders are planning a relocation).

    Either way, like every NFL team besides maybe the Patriots, their reach and popularity simply pales in comparison to the Cowboys.

    ==3. Advertisers are going to take notice if this trend continues.==

    Advertisers have already noticed that the NFL’s ratings have been soft for a year or two!


  66. - Curl of the Burl - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    On a side note - and at this rate - this post might have more comments than any other post in Cap Fax history.


  67. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    “Most events I’ve been to, the announcer will state “Please rise to honor our military and for the singing of the National Anthem”. ”

    I’ve never heard that. I have occasionally heard a request to rise for the anthem, but never the words “to honor our military”.

    “I wouldn’t call going to a movie or a play - an event ”

    Just as much events as a football game!

    (I must say, aside from anything else, it just seems weird to me even to have the National Anthem sung before sporting event.)


  68. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that widespread protests would be good for the NFL’s ratings; just that there’s a lot of vectors for changes in viewership.


  69. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Why is that National Anthem even played at sporting events? Count me among those who think it’s dumb to do so. It’s not played before my work day, why is it played before theirs?

    The Anthem/Flag etc. represent a country founded on revolution, on speaking inconvenient truth to power, and has that right enshrined in the Constitution. What they are doing is Constitutionally protected speech. The “governor” can have his opinion…but his opinion is wrong.


  70. - IllinoisCitizen - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    In re:

    - Retired Educator - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Had 99% of our population shown up to work and engaged in a protest over any issue, they would be disciplined , and perhaps fired. No one is saying speaking out against an issue is wrong. The forum is the problem.

    If one wants to parse “working hours,” technically the national anthem and such are largely OUTSIDE of the actual game. Your statement would be akin to an employer requiring me to show up for calisthenics and pledges every morning — demanding my “allegiance” for the privilege of working for them. Historically, that’s not worked out so well.


  71. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Rauner is right, the players are disrespecting the foundations of America: racism and government brutality. The players took knees because of police killings of African-Americans. Racism has long-plagued this country. In many of our lifetimes, African-Americans couldn’t go to certain businesses and public facilities.

    Maybe Rauner is just pandering, also. After all, he has teed off his base.

    Myself, I totally support the players. I don’t care for patriotic grandstanding, because behind much of that is hypocrisy. Some so-called patriots said it’s wrong to protest the flag at work. In what free country do people have to stand for the flag at work? That smacks of dictatorship.


  72. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Let’s delve deep into Rauner, thus statement and social injustice…

    The beginning of the protests, by Kaepernick was the idea of social and racial injustice in America.

    Governor Bruce Rauner has made criminal justice reform and the inequality in criminal justice and social awareness part of what he, Governor Rauner, claims as a highlight of his successes as governor.

    To ignore, to completely ignore, what these protests have as a backbone and the rationale as to why “SOBs” and the distraction(s) that both Rauner and the President want, you’d also have to ignore, to completely ignore, Rauner’s own words, actions, and “achievements” where Rauner, as a governor, saw where reform is needed, and strive to make the necessary reforms.

    Rauner’s phony take is fake.

    It has to be.

    Otherwise, all the criminal justice reform Rauner said was needed… wasn’t needed at all

    Reconcile that, BTIA(tm), then get back… to me.


  73. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    – What if you had to endure this at the symphony, the theater….”

    Oh, I just couldn’t. I’m sure I’d faint, load my drawers and burst into tears all at the same time.

    Your delicate nature is irrelevant to when and where others exercise their 1st Amendment right to peaceful protest — a right that many fought and died to preserve. A right Trump and Rauner took an oath to defend.

    You honor those that served by exercising that right. That’s what they fought and died for.


  74. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    And this is why they say they are kneeling….so Rauner can have the right to state his opinion.


  75. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    The Majority of NFL fans agree with Governor Rainer’s statement and the national anthem protesters are the biggest reason less fans are tuning in to watch.

    According to a recent survey from J.D. Power, national anthem protests that originated with Colin Kaepernick led a list of reasons people tuned out of NFL games last season. The poll consisted of 9,200 people who attended a football, basketball or hockey game, and asked them if they tuned into fewer games and why.
    Per the poll, 26 percent of viewers cited the protests as the reason

    https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/poll-kaepernicks-anthem-protests-biggest-reason-nfl-viewers-stopped-watching/


  76. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    Dale Jr. gets it. The NASCAR bosses didn’t rattle him. Check him out on twitter.


  77. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    pardon, 10:43 was me,


  78. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    ===The Majority of NFL fans agree with Governor Rainer’s statement…===

    Um, ok… But…

    ===Per the poll, 26 percent of viewers cited…===

    “When did 26% become a majority?”


  79. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    I asked you to confine your comments to the governor’s statement. I didn’t ask you to analyze TV ratings.


  80. - golfman-r - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    As a proud veteran I say that a part of my service was to defend the right of others to protest as they see fit. One thing seems to remain the same, the times they are a changin


  81. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    No Gov. Rauner. it is respectful of veterans, especially those who fought to create this country, because they fought for freedoms including freedom of speech.


  82. - Arsenal - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Sorry Rich!

    I also find it weird that Rauner’s commenting on this in an abstract way when he’s got an ownership interest in the team with one of the highest-profile protests.


  83. - Flapdoodle - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    ==Speaking as an actual veteran, we good.==
    With you here, MrJM. I served so people can speak out as they see fit, whether I like it or not.
    An earlier commenter said that freedom of expression *is* the foundation of this country. Absolutely on target there.


  84. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    Does Gov. Rauner’s statement reconcile with Diana Rauner calling herself and the governor “social justice warriors”?

    How about that statement above…


  85. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    “That said, our country is great because it guarantees freedom of expression, so people can choose to be disrespectful.”

    Pretty much sums up the governor, no? Disrespectful.

    I really can see both sides of the issue. I wouldn’t kneel, but I don’t have a problem with other people kneeling. I don’t really think it is disrespectful when compared to all the stuff in the flag code of conduct that gets ignored.


  86. - Nick Name - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    I love how all these politicians who never served think they can speak for veterans on this issue. Not even a veteran can speak for all veterans. Ask any ten veterans what they think, and you’ll get ten different answers.

    Speaking as a veteran, and only for myself, as a guy who once signed away everything I own — up to and including my life — to protect and defend the rights Americans enjoy, including our First Amendment rights, I support the athletes who take a knee.

    I also admire their courage to take an unpopular stand and endure the vicious abuse they’re getting because of it.


  87. - Skeptic - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    “My preference is that the people who benefit at the highest levels of the American Dream make their individual statements on their own time.” But influencing elections is a-ok?


  88. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Rauner quickly spoke out against the players, many of whom are African-American, but didn’t quickly speak out against the Charlottesville white supremacists, so there’s that also.

    Rauner’s mum on the latest ACA repeal attempt, that if successful, would severely harm the state. Rauner’s choice of what to speak out against, and when, is very troubling to many people.


  89. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    LP, so what?

    You exercise your 1st Amendment right here every day.

    Want to submit to a poll as to the “popularity” of your thoughts? Would the results matter?

    The right is there to protect those expressing unpopular speech from the rule of the mob.

    The Fox blabber mouths pointing to ratings would kill to have half the viewership of the lowest rated NFL game of the season.


  90. - honeybadger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Can’t we all see what is happening here? By commenting on this subject, the heat is taken off of Rauner for his failures as Governor, just like it is taking the heat of the Russia investigation off of Trump. These are diversionary tactics perfected by politicians and would be politicians who have no real ideas or platform.

    And it seems to be working. Good thing Rich has multiple stories on this site.


  91. - Responsa - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    The United States of America, especially in these days of 24/7 social media perpetual outrage desperately needs a few places where there is peace from all that and where there is no political component. She needs a few places where people can appreciate all the things that do unite us. Sporting events until very recently were, in most cases, one of those pure places. People could sit side by side as paying fans properly oblivious to the politics and creed of the person next to them and also properly oblivious to the players’ politics. Cheering on the athleticism and strategy of *their* team and wishing mayhem and destruction upon the opposing sports team was the whole point of attending sporting events.

    Honoring the country’s flag and national song both of which serve to symbolize our freedoms should not be controversial. This has been how games have started at all levels for generations. How hard is it to stand in acknowledgement of those basic freedoms even as we all see flaws that exist and work to improve the country–just as our citizens for over 230 years have seen problems and sought to improve our country and communities in ways small and large.

    What Colon Kaepernick has wrought upon sports and how it has escalated sickens me.


  92. - Nick Name - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    “What Colon Kaepernick has wrought upon sports and how it has escalated sickens me.”

    Oh please. Spare me. It wasn’t until a few years ago that NLF teams were even on the field during the national anthem. The NFL made it political when it decided to take DOD money for patriotic displays during and before games, making the players props for rah-rah propaganda shows. Blame the league, not the players, if you don’t like football being politicized.


  93. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    ===Honoring the country’s flag and national song both of which serve to symbolize our freedoms should not be controversial===

    Ok… then… this?

    ===What Colon Kaepernick has wrought upon sports and how it has escalated sickens me.===

    Kaepernick expressing his freedom may have sickened you, but he was free to do so, which you say is what the flag and anthem represent.

    So… You applaud what you acknowledge the song and flag represent?

    It’s like Gov. Rauner’s statement;

    How can that statement be from a governor that wants criminal justice reform that Kaepenick based his protest on when this began.

    One of the beliefs of Rauner must be phony. Both can’t be true, Rauner a social justice warrior as Diana Rauner said they both are, then missing what the players are protesting?


  94. - northsider (the original) - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Perhaps Diana reported that she was hearing complaints about the protests at North Shore Tailgate parties.


  95. - Happy Retiree (Formerly (Un) Happy) - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    To everyone that is saying that they’re at work, on the clock, it’s the wrong forum; I would answer that the Constitution doesn’t take a haitus during business hours. Also, I refer you to the many coaches and team owners who have issued statements in support of the players’ right to free speech.

    We all have the right to disagree with another person’s issues or opinions and to voice our dissenting opinion. None of us has the right to prevent, or punish them for, their peacefully presented message.


  96. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    “Honoring the country’s flag and national song both of which serve to symbolize our freedoms should not be controversial.”

    That’s a lot easier to say for those who like Rauner are white and privileged, and having lived many years being white. Try being black in this country for the last 50+ years. So the criticism easily rollls off the lips of the privileged, like Rauner


  97. - Juice - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Lucky, this is from the ESPN article that is linked in the CBS article you posted.

    “J.D. Power noted that only 12 percent of the fans it surveyed said they watched fewer NFL games last season, with 27 percent of people saying they watched more and 62 percent saying they watched just as much as they had the season before.”

    26% of the 12% of those who watched fewer games is hardly a majority.


  98. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    The Governor’s statement is clearly in the mainstream of American’s view on the subject:

    “I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem,” Rauner told POLITICO through a spokesman. “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties.” […]”

    from 538

    “We don’t have any polling specifically about Trump’s recent NFL comments, but a Quinnipiac University poll from 2016 found that only 38 percent of those surveyed approved of players choosing not to stand during the anthem.”

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-nfl-protests-may-be-unpopular-now-but-that-doesnt-mean-theyll-end-that-way/


  99. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    Responsa, you are quite selective in your facts.

    The president of the United States in a nationally televised speech at an arena almost half-filled with people called the handful of NFL protesters SOBs who should lose their jobs.

    Was he on his “personal time” when he did that or was he “at work?”

    The players responded yesterday in silence, peace and infintely more dignity — before much, much bigger crowds — and on television, the venue Trump chose to call them out.

    What would you have them do? Cower before the bloviating, wannabe strongman? That’s America, to you?

    The protesters by their actions honored America and the sacrifices of those who fought for it in a way much more profound and admirable than any rote playing of the national anthem.


  100. - Galena Guy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    “Had 99% of our population shown up to work and engaged in a protest over any issue, they would be disciplined”

    Why? Is it in their job description to stand while the anthem is played? I tend to doubt it…


  101. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    ===“To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties.”===

    … including Freedom of Speech, in terms of social injustice and a racial divide element, things Rauner allegedly supports, unless there is a dog whistle?

    - Lucky Pierre -

    Rauner can’t believe there’s social injustice and think these protests are “wrong”.

    Rauner is phony to criminal justice or to the belief these protests by the NFL and its players are wrong.

    Which is it, - Lucky Pierre -? Where is Rauner the phony?


  102. - Galena Guy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    “The Governor’s statement is clearly in the mainstream of American’s view on the subject”

    LP - so that makes it “right” eh? I’ve been around long enough to know that the “mainstream” has been wrong a LOT of times. We can ask John Lewis if he agrees.


  103. - Responsa - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    Wordslinger- I did not mention the president of the United States or use the words “personal time” or “at work”, or specifically mention yesterday’s NFL protests. Perhaps you were mistakenly responding to someone else’s comment or perhaps you were making stuff up. My comment stands on its own as a rail against what has happened to professional sports in moving them away from pure athletic contests. I made clear my belief that the fault is both in the original action and the over-reactions of many. You are of course welcome to disagree with my position.


  104. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    The poll is pretty clear 62% oppose NFL players protesting during the national anthem, so the Governor is on the majority side.

    If you recall last year, the St Louis Rams also protested with a hands up don’t shoot protest, despite the fact that the officer was acquitted and the hands up don’t shoot was a false narrative that never happened.

    Let’s face it if Colin Kapernick’s views were popular, a number of teams would be lining up to sign him and his jersey would be selling out everywhere.

    Could it be that the majority look at sports as a diversion and not political exercise? Many attribute as least part of the decline in ESPN’s ratings to resistance to the political nature of some of the commentary on the network. Nothing new here, both Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Miller both were ejected as NFL commenters as their views were polarizing to the fan base.

    Political protests at sporting events are relatively new phenomenon, it should be no surprise there is push back.


  105. - dbk - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    The Governor: “I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem,” etc.

    The problem is, this wasn’t what taking a knee/locking arms was about at all. These actions were in continuation of Kaepernick’s last year, which was to protest police violence and killing of black men in particular. Bob Costas explained it very well, and even characterized “taking a knee” as signifying an “act of grace” (or prayer–there is an iconic image of MLK in Selma before the march to Montgomery of him kneeling in prayer).

    How does the governor feel about this issue? Because that’s what it’s about. Seventy percent of NFL players are black, after all, and it is their brothers, sisters, cousins, friends … who are being subjected to violence, not least in the largest city in the governor’s state.

    This is a public issue, not a private one.
    What’s the appropriate public venue to begin addressing it?


  106. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    Responsa, the players responded to Trump in the venue available to them, and the same one he used.

    You can be nostalgic for a time that never existed of “pure athletic contests” separate from the outside world all you want.

    But see Baer/Schmeling. See Louis/Schmeling II. See Berlin 1936. Mexico City 1968. Lake Placid 1980. Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali……


  107. - Paddy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    =Political protests at sporting events are relatively new phenomenon=
    Right fist raised at 1968 Olympics during anthem.


  108. - cdog - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    The question for Rauner, and Trump, is what are they going to do as elected leaders to alleviate oppression of minorities, and the perception of oppression.

    Publicaly acknowledging that oppression exists, would be a good start.

    Maybe Rauner can follow up talking about plans to mitigate lead in inner-city schools, new efforts to improve disproportionate unemployment of young black men, and publicly denounce the CPD FOP’s efforts to halt the new Use of Force policy implementation.


  109. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===Let’s face it if Colin Kapernick’s views were popular, a number of teams would be lining up to sign him and his jersey would be selling out everywhere===

    Being popular and being on the right side of history, navy times, has proven to be something elusive.

    ===Political protests at sporting events are relatively new phenomenon, it should be no surprise there is push back.===

    It’s not pushback, Rauner either believes there needs to be social and criminal justice reform or his ridiculous statement.

    - Lucky Pierre -… which is the phony Rauner, or is it both?


  110. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    pardon 12:05 was me.

    LP, I bet most get it that Rauner made his statement because he thinks it’s politically popular. That’s one area where he is truly transparent.

    No one here, including you, has accused him of making it based on principle.


  111. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    The question is not just for Rauner and Trump, it is for all elected leaders, especially those who directly represent these blighted communities in city and state government.

    It would be nice if the Democrats would compromise with the Governor on the need for economic development and private sector job creation in Illinois.

    It appears that Rahm and the Governor are working well on the Amazon proposal but the issue is so much bigger than just one company and the perks they will require.


  112. - GOP Extremist - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    This whole argument and the passion it stirs, is only slightly less silly than the what color is the dress controversy.


  113. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===…is only slightly less silly than the what color is the dress controversy.===

    When did the “dress color thingy” question the constitution, racism, social injustice, or the fabric of what our flag can stand for?

    You must have an easy life. I envy that.


  114. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:35 pm:

    Why do you avoid the Rauner honesty question here…

    Is Raunef a true advocate for social abc criminal justice reform, a social justice warrior as it’s been described…

    … or is Rauner oblivious to the constitution, the first amendment, and what began this protest… social and criminal inequality based on race and believes every word of his statement, even as it collided with his criminal justice reform?

    Which is it… - Lucky Pierre -

    Can’t have this both ways. One must be phony.


  115. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    Why do you say that OW? The Governor believes in criminal justice reform or he would not have advocated for it. He can also believe protesting the national anthem is not the appropriate forum to protest criminal justice reform.

    You are taking a leap across the Grand Canyon if you are trying to argue somehow that because 62% oppose protesting the anthem they also oppose criminal justice reform or are inherently racist somehow.

    The Governor also agrees with the clear majority of Americans that protesting our national anthem, our flag and disrespecting those who died to protect our freedom and liberty is not the appropriate way to support criminal justice reform.

    There was one Pittsburgh Steeler player who stood for the national anthem yesterday, Alejandro Villaneuva, a West Point graduate, 3 tour Afghanistan war veteran and winner of the bronze star. Is he a phony too?


  116. - A Jack - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    This is about the only thing I can agree with Rauner on. And if you read the whole statement, Rauner says they have the freedom to be disrespectful.

    We are such a divided country right now that we are ready to jump all over anyone if they disagree with us the tiniest bit.


  117. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    I agree with the governor.

    I have boycotted football the last two years because of the greed of 26 individuals.


  118. - LevivotedforJudy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    If Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their hands in protest in a press conference instead of on the podium accepting their medals in the 1968 Olympics, who would have remembered it? I think this is the same thing. And…it is kind of similar to the Univ. of Missouri football players who threatened to boycott (they used their best leverage to be heard).


  119. - Ferris Wheel - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    He needs to actually discover what the protests are about instead of just “deciding” that they are about the flag. This would take approximately 4.2 seconds on google.
    This aggressively obtuse statement says more about him than it does about the players protesting.


  120. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    The league was drawn into this, is probably on the wrong end of the argument, and is now in dire need of damage control. Other than cable news, no one is likely to win.


  121. - Lizzy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    To the Dublin comment, I can understand that you feel disrespected as a veteran when it is put into the context that you live. Protestors have been trying to bring this issue to the forefront of our national conversation in many ways. Communities of color feel disrespected when their sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and friends are unarmed and killed unnecessarily. It is not a freedom of speech issue, they are seeking justice to the cruel and unusual punishments of American citizens without so much as a charge, arrest, trial or conviction. No protest is ideal or sensible, because reaching the point of protest means that debate and conversation is ineffective. But this one is peaceful, it is not threatening or harming anyone. It is quiet and steadfast. It is a humble protest, marking the continued state-sanctioned brutality on citizens.


  122. - JoanP - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    “The poll is pretty clear 62% oppose NFL players protesting during the national anthem,”

    No, it’s not. It’s 54%. Read the poll.

    But what’s even more interesting is the way the results break down. There’s a significant difference along not merely racial lines and party affiliation, but also age and education.

    Furthermore, the article to which you link is all about something you fail to acknowledge: “Civil rights protests, almost by definition, begin as unpopular.”


  123. - In A Minute - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    Oswego Willy-
    My two cents. Rauner and other libertarians and conservatives belief that we should have consistent types sentences applied to offenders, real efforts to rehabilitate while incarcerated, and post incarceration employment opportunities is not the same thing as Kaepernick saying police officers are rascist and engage in a pattern of shooting unarmed young black men. Your efforts to conflate the two concepts doesn’t advance or add clarity to the discussion. It sounds more like political spin.


  124. - Glengarry as - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    Rauner is wrong and out of touch once again. As a vet and a minority who served proudly so people could protest and enjoy to continue their civil liberties.

    To anyone that thinks sport is devoid of protest, you need to check again. Ever hear of Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali and Jessie Owens? The plight of minority’s that played for the Red Sox under the Yawkey years? Oh and last I checked Governor Junk owned a piece of the Red Sox.


  125. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    ===Why do you say that OW? The Governor believes in criminal justice reform or he would not have advocated for it. He can also believe protesting the national anthem is not the appropriate forum to protest criminal justice reform.===

    Rauner’s statement.

    ===“I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem,” Rauner told POLITICO through a spokesman. “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties===

    The protest is about inequity in social and justice reform.

    It has nothing to do with the military, patriotism, a lack of respect for those serving it served.

    Rauner continues, “comically”

    ===“That said, our country is great because it guarantees freedom of expression, so people can choose to be disrespectful.”===

    What’s comical here is that these protests are advocating what Rauner “claims” to advocate, but can only see the flag as a symbol of the military, and not also representing the constitution or the 1st Amendment.

    As I stated, and you just answer, as always with a question…

    ===Is Rauner a true advocate for social and criminal justice reform, a social justice warrior as it’s been described…

    … or is Rauner oblivious to the constitution, the first amendment, and what began this protest… social and criminal inequality based on race and believes every word of his statement, even as it collided with his criminal justice reform?===

    Can’t be both. No way.

    The flag represents more than the military.

    ===You are taking a leap across the Grand Canyon if you are trying to argue somehow that because 62% oppose protesting the anthem they also oppose criminal justice reform or are inherently racist somehow.===

    As pointed out, you can’t read polls.

    Popular diesbt mean right.

    If that’s the case, in this same context, polling could show that the Comfederate Flag in some states is still popular. Flying it is wrong.

    ===The Governor also agrees with the clear majority of Americans that protesting our national anthem, our flag and disrespecting those who died to protect our freedom and liberty is not the appropriate way to support criminal justice reform.===

    No, your leap thinking that “people think” is far fetched.

    Rauner himself, and only he is the governor. His work in criminal justice reform now should be heavily scrutinized and people should wonder aloud which Rauner is the phony…

    … the one pretending to be about criminal justice reform, or the phony who thinks protesting for it is wrong.

    ===There was one Pittsburgh Steeler player who stood for the national anthem yesterday, Alejandro Villaneuva, a West Point graduate, 3 tour Afghanistan war veteran and winner of the bronze star. Is he a phony too?===

    He is not governor of Illinois.

    He didn’t sign criminal justice reform in Illinois.

    He didn’t decide that ether his signed criminal justice reform is phony or a dog whistle statement where the flag only represents the military is better politics.

    Good try, you fail again.

    I just want to know which Rauner is the phony.

    Is it the reformer or the one whose statement contradicts that reform by ignoring what the protests are all about.

    Lemme know which Rauner is that phony.

    Thanks.


  126. - G'Kar - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    For some reason, I get posts from Rauner on my FB feed. Yesterday he posted a series on his Route 66 motorcycle ride. I was surprised by the comments. Most attacked him over the sanctuary state legislation. Could his statement here be simply an attempt to win back his base?


  127. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    To the Pawar response;

    ===…but he won’t take a stand on the Graham-Cassidy bill which would cause a million Illinoisans to lose health insurance. He also refuses to take a hard stand on H.B. 40, a bill which aims to protect women’s medical rights in Illinois.===

    If you can’t stay on one topic, maybe you shouldn’t comment at all

    Pawar, by far, has the worse Comms Crew. They lack focus to thought or anything beyond what happens to be rolling in their head at the moment.

    This is not gubernatorial level work, and given the subject, worse than the usual Pawar message failings


  128. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===Rauner and other libertarians and conservatives belief that we should have consistent types sentences applied to offenders, real efforts to rehabilitate while incarcerated, and post incarceration employment opportunities is not the same thing as Kaepernick saying police officers are rascist and engage in a pattern of shooting unarmed young black men.===

    Diana Rauner cakes herself and Bruce “Social Justice Warriors”

    I dunno what that means but if it doesn’t mean standing up for the 1st amendment, the right to protest, and looking to help social and criminal inequality, then I guess Rauner is a phony to the social and criminal justice(?)


  129. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    38 % support the players protesting the national anthem, on the field, in uniform before an NFL game.

    There is no poll for what percentage support players protesting outside of their workplace- the NFL field on their own time.

    It is a phony argument to not realize there is a huge difference.

    How would any other employer and it customers react to a political protest by some of their employees on company time?

    Most companies in America see the wisdom to making great efforts to avoid politically divisive issues for good reason. They want to sell their product to everyone, not a segment of society.

    Identity politics is a loser in business as well as elections.


  130. - Retired Educator - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    Mr. Bliss you can take a knee for whatever you want. I will not be joining you. As a veteran and patriotic American I don’t feel a need to placate those who engage in behaviors I find inappropriate. While I don’t agree totally with Governor Rauner, I feel the other three candidate responses are just an attempt to pander to the crowd. If it does not irritate you guys a little, you are not my candidate. By the way I vote in every election, so you are already one down.


  131. - JackD - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    The protests are not against the flag or the anthem. They are against the failure of our society and governmental agents to live up to the values those symbols represent. Freedom is not just the right to speak and protest; it is also the right to be treated justly regardless of race, religion or national origin. Freedom is not just another word for nothing left to lose.


  132. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===38 % support the players protesting the national anthem, on the field, in uniform before an NFL game===

    They are not governor of Illinois, nor did they either in a phony or a non-phony way show that social and criminal injustice is a governor’s priority.

    Again, popular doesn’t mean right or just.

    ===How would any other employer and it customers react to a political protest by some of their employees on company time.===

    30 franchise of the 32 showed a support to the players and the community over the President, and the other 2 have not formally responsed, according to reports.

    Seems like the employers are agreeing with the workers here.

    ===Most companies in America see the wisdom to making great efforts to avoid politically divisive issues for good reason. They want to sell their product to everyone, not a segment of society.===

    NASCAR wants to be seen supporting Trump’s stance, as does Rauner.

    Is NASCAR wrong for choosing to support Trump?

    Why is it that NASCAR might support Trump while the NBA and NFL and their players are the targets of Trump?

    Why is Rauner seemingly agreeing with NASCAR?

    Rauner is a social warrior unless…


  133. - filmmaker prof - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    The flag and the anthem are not the property of our military. End of story.


  134. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:26 pm:

    OW are you posting from a Farmer’s Market?

    I can’t help you if you can’t see the difference between Apples and Oranges.

    If you really think NASCAR has a diverse fan base I can’t help you.

    “A NASCAR team executive said that the league currently has “no policy” on the issue of protesting the National Anthem, as it had never come up for them in the past.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/25/trump-slams-nfl-praises-nascar-wont-put-up-with-disrespecting-our-country.html

    If you think the NFL owners are all in on the protests why isn’t Colin Kapernick in uniform?


  135. - VanillaMan - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    Patriotism is good. Defending the symbols of our country is always the right thing to do as a politician.

    Politicians who don’t won’t win elections, regardless of the feeble reasons they use to excuse disgraceful behavior.


  136. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:47 pm:

    ===OW are you posting from a Farmer’s Market?

    I can’t help you if you can’t see the difference between Apples and Oranges===

    The Apples are understanding the reason for the protest. Rauner, more of a lemon governor, an orange likes the dog whistles…

    As Bob Costas said…

    ===”Patriotism comes in many forms and what has happened is that it’s been conflated with a bumper sticker-style kind of flag-waving and with the military only, so that people cannot see that in his own way Colin Kaepernick, however imperfectly, is doing a patriotic thing. And so too are some of these other players.”===

    Also… Costas…

    ===This is no disrespect to the military,” said Costas. “Martin Luther King was a patriot. Susan B. Anthony was a patriot. Dissidents are patriots. School teachers and social workers are patriots.”===

    Rauner?

    ===“I strongly disagree with those who disrespect our flag and our anthem,” Rauner told POLITICO through a spokesman. “To me they are disrespecting the foundations of our country, the veterans who risked their lives for our democracy, and the men and women who fight every day and make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberties.”===

    Rauner either is utterly clueless and doesn’t know what these protests are about, which makes his criminal and justice reform valid, and makes Rauner a rube to what it means to be for social justice.

    Or Rauner, like NASCAR owners, seem to know exactly what they are saying, and Rauner is an utter phony when it comes to social and criminal justice.

    The two NFL teams yet to weigh in are the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, and…

    … while NASCAR individual owners made clear their stance…

    http://bit.ly/2hsOcZH

    … it took Dale Earnhart, Jr, as - Wordslinger - pointed out what is going on.

    As to NASCAR’s diverse fan base, that’s more of an indictment of Rauner I guess(?)

    ===If you think the NFL owners are all in on the protests why isn’t Colin Kapernick in uniform?===

    Ask Sam Flood. As Jackie Robinson. As those who stood up and the support they got during… and the support, praise, historic context they received later.


  137. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 2:54 pm:

    – Based on reactions of Bear fans at the game, Rauner has a lot company in his opinion.–

    Yeah, and when Jordan Howard scored in OT the place was empty and you could have heard a pin drop.

    In Raunerbot BizarroWorld.


  138. - Downstate Illinois - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    Professional athletes who take part in an anti-American protests shouldn’t be surprised at the all too predictable backlash by their fans. They could burn American flags and it wouldn’t be any more offensive to most Americans.


  139. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    ===Based on the reactions of===

    You can’t be singing it if you’re booing during it. Just sayin…


  140. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    ===anti-American protest===

    Explain what are American protest.

    We were the first colony in the history of the world to successfully rebel against the “parent”

    See Costas’ response as to “anti-American”.


  141. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 4:02 pm:

    At any sporting event during the national anthem, loads of fans are buying beer and food, gabbing with their neighbors,or on the phone, going to the bathroom, filing into their seats, etc.

    Heck, Blackhawk fans scream their heads off during the anthem, and have for years.

    Are they disrespecting the flag and troops, too?


  142. - Demoralized - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    I find it just as disrespectful to berate someone for doing something that epitomizes what this country is all about.


  143. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    To the DGA,

    When your messaging refuses to see where Rauner has dog whistles is an embarrassing fail by the DGA.

    Illinois is not a “Red State”

    Losing sight as to the reason the NFL is being targeted by both Trump and Rauner, this is a miss by the DGA only better than the Pawar response because it seems like a coherent paragraph with one thought in structure exists.

    The DGA let Rauner off the hook.


  144. - redleg - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    Only mistake Rauner made was he didn’t sell his share of the Steelers before he went public with his opinion. For sure the Governor isn’t doing a pump and dump.
    I am an old vet and no I don’t own the anthem or the flag or anything else and, if you stop and think about it, neither do the rest of you. Therefore I will not use my status as a veteran as if it is one of the many cards that are played 24 hours a day.
    BTW…The award for top selling gear in the last 24 hours goes to Alejandro Villanueva. Pro sports better get it’s stuff together because the wallets are starting to talk.
    I’m not a follower of the Governor but I’ll stand along side of his statement.


  145. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    Retired Educator:

    Thank goodness you are retired.

    Hope you were not teaching social studies.

    Students cannot be compelled to recite the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem. Neither can teachers. Outside of perhaps the armed forces, I don’t believe any employer can compel you to do either.


  146. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 4:37 pm:

    The Gov said no more than exactly what most people think about it. In a frenzy to oppose all things Trump, and now all things Rauner, the Dems have gone so far to the left that they’re in another time zone. It’s hard to work your way back to the middle after embracing what most people perceive as the flag burning bunch.


  147. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 5:48 pm:

    Thinkin’ of burnin’ my Carharts, but while we look for the firestarter did anyone notice if GovJunk sent his DC lobbos to oppose Graham-Cassidy?
    Btw takin’ the knee seems mild. We remember Carlos Smith at the Olympics


  148. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 5:52 pm:

    There had been six NFL players take a knee during the anthem before Trump called them SOBs to fire them up down in Alabama.

    Now Trump and Rauner are playing the issue up to their bases to distract them from their failings.

    Real statesmen.


  149. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 6:02 pm:

    Sorry it was Tommie Smith and John Carlos is ‘68


  150. - Retired Educator; - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 6:25 pm:

    Yellow Dog Democrat When I was young we said the Pledge, and stood for the Flag. We even said the Lord’s Prayer in a public school classroom. The world has changed but that does not excuse poor behavior. I taught for 35 years, and I am fully aware of the limitations that have been put on schools. Those new rules are not necessarily right, they are just there. I agree with you that students being compelled is no longer allowed. It was when I was young, and I don’t believe anyone suffered for the experience.


  151. - wordslinger - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 6:48 pm:

    –It was when I was young, and I don’t believe anyone suffered for the experience.–

    So it was cool to compel non-Christian children to recite the Lord’s Prayer? That’s what government should be doing?

    Catholic or Protestant version? Who was the state actor who established the “right” one?

    Of course in Matthew, when Jesus teaches the prayer, he admonishes not to be a “hypocrite” and make a big show of it in public, but to say it alone in secret. Matthew 6:5-13.


  152. - Glengarry - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:09 pm:

    “America’s Team” just knealt. Nuff said.


  153. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 9:44 pm:

    Yup. That jerry jones is a real role model.


  154. - Glengarry - Monday, Sep 25, 17 @ 10:49 pm:

    Tonight, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys are America’s team.


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