There are cameras everywhere these days recording your every utterance. Perhaps the Alabama football running back Bo Scarbrough should have realized that college athletes truly live in a fishbowl. On the day of the Championship game he may have been reacting to the televised image of President Donald Trump standing next to Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets while mouthing the lyrics to the National Anthem when he allegedly said “Fuck Trump!” in the tunnel that led to the field at the Mercedes Benz Stadium. Sporting News posted a video of his outburst.
Scarbrough has denied saying it. Kyle Rooney posted in HotNewHipHop “Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough Denies Yelling ‘F*ck Trump'”:
Despite the video evidence, Scarbrough has since denied making the anti-trump remark and says everyone simply misheard him.
After Alabama’s 26-23 overtime victory against Georgia, the junior running back quote-tweeted the video footage, “If y’all really listen I said Georgia smh about y’all people in this world.”
Trump was undoubtedly showboating in Atlanta. He was there, as the first President since Richard Nixon to attend a college football National Championship, to further his crusade against the professional football players who had “taken a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem.
Alan Binder and Michael Shear in the New York Times reported:
The president’s appearance at the game seemed intended to emphasize his furious critique of athletes for using football games as a place for protests. Neither team’s players went onto the field on Monday until after the anthem was played, as is standard at college football games.
Charles S. Bullock III, a University of Georgia political scientist who was not planning to attend the game, said he expected that the legions of Crimson Tide and Bulldogs faithful were more focused on the pigskin than the president.
Professor Bullock said he believed the stop in Atlanta — and any cheering from the stands — would probably serve only to stroke Mr. Trump’s ego.
“This is just a sideshow,” he said, “but for him, it’s important.”
ESPN, which televised the game and has been a target of Mr. Trump’s Twitter barbs for years, said it had requested an interview with the president for its broadcast and was turned down.
Tom Schad in USA Today wrote in his article “ESPN says interview with President Trump at national title game unlikely” that:
Trump plans to attend Monday’s game between Alabama and Georgia as a guest of Nick and Jamie Ayers; Nick Ayers is Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff and a Georgia native.
Somewhere along the line Trump’s role as a spectator in a sky box morphed into his being on the field surrounded by ROTC students from Alabama and Georgia while the National Anthem was sung.
Many in the stadium according to Andrew Joseph with MSN Sports had earlier booed Trump When he arrived at the stadium:
Trump didn’t receive a warm welcome as his motorcade pulled up to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. In anticipation of the president’s arrival, a stadium entrance was locked down for over an hour. That forced fans to wait in the rain. Mercedes-Benz Stadium isn’t the easiest stadium to get into for a typical Falcons game, so it’s easy to imagine that Monday’s scene outside was especially chaotic.
Joesph posted CNN’s Andy Scholes’ Tweet:
The boos, perhaps from some of the people who had been forced to stand in the rain when the thermometer was registering 40 degrees, continued when Trump was escorted on to the field for the opening ceremonies. Trump left the stadium by halftime. Obviously his purpose for being there had been served.
The professional football player Colin Kaepernic was named as a GQ ‘Man of the Year’ and was depicted on the cover of the January 15th New Yorker with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports reported that the artist who created the cover illustration Mark Ulriksen said:
What would King be doing if he were around today? This is 49er country, and my mom and I have been going back and forth — she’s upset that players have brought politics into sports, but I say, How would you feel if you had to show up at work every day and salute a country that treats black people like second-class citizens? I’m glad that Colin Kaepernick and Michael Bennett are making it political. I’m sure that if King were around today, he’d be disappointed at the slow pace of progress: two steps forward, twenty steps back. Or ten yards back, as the metaphor may be.
Colin Kaepernic was quoted by Mark Sandritter in SB Nation:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.
Kaepernic has paid a heavy cost and jeapordised his career as a professional ball player because of his stance.
Many Alabama football fans are also followers of Donald Trump. To them Trump can do no wrong. They will be outraged that Bo Scarbough may have “F-bombed” the President.
Hopefully Alabama running back Scarbough will face no severe consequences if he expressed himself in a moment when he was unaware that he would be recorded or that it would be publicized. He might well have been expressing a sentiment that was widely shared by his fellow teammates.