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Oh No, Marco Rubio, Are ALL The Sports Turning Into Wokesters Opposed To Kids Getting Murdered With Guns?
Great. Just great.
Last week, Republican Senator Marco Rubio had a meltdown because the Miami Heat played a tribute to the victims of the Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting that included instructions for people to call their elected officials and demand they do something about the damn guns. Everybody at that NBA playoffs game cheered. That's probably what upset Rubio the most, the visceral, audible evidence that real Americans do not want what Republican senators want for this country.
As the Washington Post's Greg Sargent explained after Rubio's little tantrum, it kinda looks like the sports world might be poised to move the messaging on this whole guns thing, GOP whiners be damned.
Sargent talked with sports podcaster Dave Zirin about what could happen if gun safety reform became a common cause in the sports world. Their discussion is interesting:
Attacks on the NBA, which is associated more with African American athletes, draw on a decades-old tradition of attacking Black athletes’ speech while lionizing their abilities, which Zirin called “an old script.”
That might work for Republicans in subterranean ways. But amid mass slaughters of children, it’s already harder to culturally demagogue against gun regulations. If more athletes come out for such regulations, it will become even more challenging to associate them with effete liberal coastal elitism.
Should this happen, Zirin told me, “it will put Republicans in a position of having to defend the indefensible in front of an audience that might be more likely to listen to athletes than members of the Democratic Party.”
Sargent reminded readers that one of the first viral reactions to the Uvalde massacre was Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr before one of their own playoffs games, almost literally hurling his mic at the floor in anger over the fact that a bunch more children have been massacred as a sacrifice to the GOP's unholy marriage with the NRA.
Zirin noted that if NFL players, NASCAR drivers and other athletes “associated with White Americana” start speaking for gun regulations, “there’s a much greater chance the popular mood will shift, even greatly.”
No sooner had that piece been published than other teams in different sports started making some noise:
— New York Yankees (@New York Yankees) 1653604879
Basketball season winding down? Here comes baseball season. And it's always mass shooting season in America, so the various professional sports franchises can just hand off to each other. As the Yankees' post explained, both they and the Tampa Bay Rays, from Marco Rubio's state, used their teams' social media accounts to educate people on gun violence during their game last week:
— Tampa Bay Rays (@Tampa Bay Rays) 1653603821
You mad about that one too, Little Marco?
This weekend, Philadelphia Union players (that's soccer) wore T-shirts that said "End Gun Violence." In case it wasn't clear that was a message about guns, read the interview at that link with Union captain Alejandro Bedoya. He's not being subtle:
You cant even buy a case of beer until you’re 21. Rental car agencies, you can’t even rent a car until you’re 25 [without paying extra fees]. But an 18-year-old high school kid can go out and buy a freaking AR-15, two of them, and other hand guns and other things, and thousands of ammunition [rounds], and stuff like this? Come on, man. That’s not right. No.
This ain’t American exceptionalism. It ain’t freedom that we have to now look over our backs all the time.
Indeed, is "American exceptionalism" kids getting shot to death at school? Or is it not that ? Teach the controversy! Good thing the GOP has already noped out of presidential debates for the foreseeable future.
Over at the MaddowBlog, Steve Benen adds some context, tracing the history of Republicans just blowing their fucking gourds every time a professional sports team or organization ends up on the other side of an issue from them. As the GOP has transitioned into a fully anti-American authoritarian movement, it's happening more and more.
Donald Trump would become apoplectic at the NFL and at the NBA whenever players would kneel during the national anthem to protest racist cop violence. (Related: Gabe Kapler, the manager of the San Francisco Giants, has announced he's not going to be on the field during the national anthem until this country does something about the damn guns.)
Republicans lost their shit when Major League Baseball (MLB) stood up for voting rights.
This is all just kind of a thing, and if you pull the lens back even further, you can see that Republicans losing it at sports teams and athletes is part of the same family of temper tantrums as their screaming histrionics at Mickey Mouse, because Mickey Mouse won't co-sign Republicans fascist anti-LGBTQ laws.
It's all the same. Nothing elected Republicans want for America is what Americans want for America, despite how deafening the GOP's bigoted white nationalist crybaby base is, amplified as it is by Fox News and the rest of the rightwing media. Just like we said at the top of this post, part of what probably pissed Rubio off the most is the natural and unscripted cheer that came out of the crowd at that Miami Heat game when the video started talking about doing something about the fucking guns.
Out here in Actual Real America, people don't think their kids' lives are just the price of doing business. Out here in Actual Real America, people think every vote from every eligible American should be counted, and that white Republicans shouldn't get to steal extra power just because they whine a lot. Out here in Actual Real America, people don't think Samuel Alito is qualified to live inside people's underpants and act as a crossing guard. Out here in Actual Real America, people think it's fucked up when cops murder Black people and that it's not "woke" to say so.
The GOP is on the opposing side on every issue there is. And they fucking know it .
Now watch them panic if professional sports keeps this up.
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