The story dominating the entire media landscape the past few days has been President Donald Trump’s continued attacks on NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. The president has been relentless on the issue, leading to widespread demonstrations during this week’s NFL games and other athletes and sports figures speaking up in support of the players.
During his closing commentary on tonight’s broadcast of HBO’s Real Sports, host Bryant Gumbel wanted to offer up a thank you to the president. Why? Because Trump made today’s athletes discover their activist side.
“Finally tonight, a quick thanks to the current occupant of the White House for energizing the social conscience of the modern American athlete,” Gumbel stated.
The one-time Today host went on to say the president’s “racist, churlish and childish comments” was met with strong actions by athletes, indicating “jocks may finally be realizing that apathy won’t cut it anymore.”
After noting that he’d wondered for a long time when modern sports stars would “forsake the path of least resistance” and actually stand for something, Gumbel said that many athletes are thankfully following in the footsteps of politically active stars of yesteryear.
“Back in their day, Bob Dylan famously said: ‘The times they are a-changin’,’ and that’s still true today… as is the sad reality that certain things haven’t really changed at all,” he concluded.
Watch the clip above, via HBO.
[image via screengrab]
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