August 11, 2018
The President That Knows More Than the New Jersey “Generals” is Back
Football season is here, which means hot dogs, a cooler full of cold beer, tailgating, and the President protesting about NFL athletes taking a knee.
Is there anything that President Trump doesn’t touch and doesn’t turn to ####? What can we call the reverse of the Midas touch?
As we know, the NFL has threatened players with fines if they protest during the National Anthem. I make $20 million a year and I’m going to worry about a fine? That fine is less than what they spend one night at the club. Maybe that’s the point: NFL owners trying to look like they are doing something to appeal to both sides, afraid to take a stand, unlike the players.
On Thursday, players from the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Jacksonville Jaguars protested, and that only means one thing: El Comandante Trump is tweeting.
President Trump has abused the First Amendment more than any other President, but then sits on his Tweeter bully pulpit and lectures the citizens of the United States on freedom of speech.
Now, let me tell you my personal experiences with two distinct groups of people that I have represented in the past: immigrants and professional athletes.
Living almost all of my life in Miami, 99% of my clients are Hispanic and if I had to guess, 80% overall are Cuban. One Cuban client, a “balsero” or rafter as they are known since they float their way to freedom, told me a story I’ll never forget.
In search of freedom, my client and three other Cubans left Cuba on a dinghy. They tied themselves together around the waist in case one fell over. Because of a violent storm in the Gulf late that night, their small boat capsized and they held on for dear life until the storm passed and with day break, they would flip the boat back over. You can imagine the darkness seventy miles out on the open sea.
In what seemed an eternity, with the sun rising, came relief and as planned, they flipped the boat back over. That is when they noticed one of their own was dead, the lower half of his body gone, eaten by sharks.
When I go to court, my Hispanic clients are rarely nervous. I’ve seen lawyers more nervous, you know why? Because immigrants have been through hell and back and thus, they don’t fear easily.
I represented one major league baseball player that lost everything, millions over bad investments. Casually, he told me he would return to his country and get a job coaching. He literally had nothing. In speaking to him, he sounded more like he lost $2. Why? Because he came from nothing. He’s been there and money was just, well money. It’s not a concept I could comprehend. I’ve lost money and it wasn’t easy then and it still bothers me a decade later.
I’ve also consulted with three NFL players on other legal matters, and likewise, fear didn’t seem to be in their vocabulary.
Now, look at this from the athletes’ perspective. They know the risks they are facing in speaking out during these politically turbulent times. Just look at Lebron James. Yet, they still speak out. Why? Why are the willing to lose millions of dollars in endorsements and their fan base?
Now, it’s not just athletes and immigrants that have taught me that their fear threshold is higher than most. I’ve seen it in other professions as well, especially speculative real estate investors who also lost it all during the Great Recession and the real estate bubble. However, Trump focuses on minorities and the reasons why are obvious. Funny thing; how come there aren’t “very fine people on both sides” of this debate.
Is this another created distraction by Trump? Maybe. His advisors seem to think this is a winning issue for their base. Again, why? Because the athletes are black and like director Spike Lee said this past week in an interview, President Trump is a “bullhorn for racism.”
Athletes are natural born fighters. They have fought their whole life just to get to where they are and they have to continue to fight just to stay there. Just like immigrants. People like that, you can’t bully them. You can’t intimidate them. But, that’s not Trump’s angle. Trump’s modus operandi has always been the same: divide and conquer. Even within his own administration.
Alexander Hernandez, Esq.