* 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.”