Protesting a protest?
That is exactly what happened when Vice President Mike Pence left Sunday’s 49ers/Colts game before it even started. Under the instruction of President Trump, Pence would leave the game if any NFL players took a knee during the National Anthem.
Was Pence’s appearance a staged production to generate anger for players kneeling, which continues the patriotism narrative, and to help Trump’s dismal popularity scores? Quite possibly, but all is fair in war. The United States President has been strategically battling a multi-faceted war: versus anti-patriotism, versus the NFL, versus ESPN, versus fake news, (have Jemele Hill tell it) versus black people. The Pence walkout is also an illustration of Trump’s battle versus liberals, and the liberal hub of America: California.
Mike Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana and served as governor of the state from 2013 - 2017. Pence attending a Colts game is not the most insane idea he could come up with to spend his leisure time. However, there is nothing coincidental about the Colts opponent, the San Francisco 49ers.
San Francisco is about a one hour drive from Mountain View, CA, home of Google. The data company played an intricate role in Obama getting into office, and had an open line of communication with him during his presidency. Throughout Trump’s presidential campaign and his presidency, he has accused Google, as well as Amazon and Facebook, of generating fake news pushing the public towards liberal views. Google cofounder Sergey Brin even joked about a Trump impeachment.
San Fran is also home of the 49ers, where Colin Kaepernick famously (or infamously) took a knee to protest inequality in America. And we know Trump has been quite vocal about Kaepernick.
Last season’s NBA Champions, the Golden State Warriors, had their White House visit rescinded by President Trump. Stephen Curry was waffling if he was going to attend or not. Trump made the decision easy for him by taking the offer off the table for the entire team. Tom Brady of last season’s Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots waffled if he was going to attend, and even though he didn’t, the Pats were still able to make the trip to D.C. Let’s not forget that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are Trump supporters.
Another front in the POTUS battle against the Golden State is in the courts. Trump is very rapidly filing circuit and district court judge seats. Less than a year into his presidency, he has already filled 56 of the 108 court vacancies he inherited, many of whom are known for their anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion stances. Take Amy Coney Barrett. The Professor of Law at Notre Dame and mother of seven has had her nomination approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, Barrett still has an uphill climb as people have questioned her religious acumen and her possible decision-making influences as a judge. Minnesota Senator Al Franken thinks her influences lie in a religious hate group. Many LGBT groups are opposing Barrett's nomination, fearing she would make rulings based on her belief of “marriage and family founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman”.
California is fighting back against the barrage known as President Trump. Oakland, Berkeley, and possibly San Francisco, plan to boycott companies helping in the construction of the Trump border wall. The state is also dedicating more funds and legal counsel in support immigrants after the president’s DACA ruling. It has been reported that over 10 million immigrants reside in California.
In a fight that has larger implications than anything Floyd Mayweather-related, we should all keep our eyes on the left coast.