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Trump to Ask Kneeling Athletes to Recommend People Deserving of Pardon

Trump to Ask Kneeling Athletes to Recommend People Deserving of Pardon

“What I’m going to do is, I’m going to say to them instead of talk … I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me…people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system.”

Friday, Trump said he would ask NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to recommend people for pardon, people they believe have been treated unfairly by the justice system.

CNN reported Friday:

“I’m going to ask them to recommend to me people who were unfairly treated,” Trump said at White House Friday. Trump’s contentious relationship with the NFL reached a peak last year when he lambasted players who took a knee during the National Anthem to protest institutionalized racism and police brutality.

“You have a lot of people in the NFL in particular, but in sports leagues, they’re not proud enough to stand for our National Anthem. I don’t like that,” Trump said Friday, also insisting that players should not remain in the locker room when the “Star Spangled Banner” is playing.

“What I’m going to do is, I’m going to say to them instead of talk … I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me — because that’s what they’re protesting — people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system,” Trump said. “And I understand that.”

He added, “If the athletes have friends of theirs or people they know about that have been unfairly treated by the system, let me know.”

Trump called his presidential power to pardon people a “beautiful thing,” adding that “you got to get it right.” The President also floated a pardon for posthumous boxing great Muhammad Ali, though the athlete’s attorney said that is “unnecessary” because the Supreme Court overturned his previous conviction.

Trump recently disinvited the Philadelphia Eagles from visiting the White House after the full team refused to visit, but rather, planned to send a small delegation to represent the entire team.

The official White House response criticized kneeling during the National Anthem.

But this latest move by Trump is about as good a response as I can imagine. The right habitually glosses over the fact that while sometimes overstated or plied for victimhood, there is much about our justice system that is far from just and particular populations who are disproportionately impacted.

The entire point of kneeling during the national anthem (regardless of how insufferable Kaepernick may be) was to bring awareness of just that. Tactics for doing so and the message it sends to those who fight and have fought for our right to proudly fly the flag certainly leave something to be desired. Sure, there are probably some who took part in the protest whose motives were less than pure, but that’s certainly not true for them all.

For all his blustering and bloviating, Trump appears to be listening to those desperate to be heard and that’s certainly worthy of commendation.


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They use their SJW posturing to hide their greed.

Pure genius here. Genuine attempt to do good. Sets him up as peascemaker. Invites players, and SJWs everywhere by extension, to be part of a real solution. Politically an obvious winner

    moonmoth in reply to Uncledave. | June 8, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Invites players, and SJWs everywhere by extension, to be part of a real solution.

    Gee, thanks, ya big loudmouth. You just gave the Dems their prima facie case for impeaching him. 😉

assemblerhead | June 8, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Stupid …. the ACLU is trying to get rid of Police Body Cameras in Chicago. Other SJW cities are doing the same.

It just to hard to be ‘the victim’ when the camera disagrees.

Claiming ‘systemic injustice’ … not true.

Please don’t buy the Soros / SJW / Identity Politics lies.

What a buffoon! (As plenty will soon remind us) … There he goes, violating those sacred Presidential norms again.

Best. Election. Ever.

On its face, this seems to be a mistake. There won’t be even one inmate anywhere in the local, state or federal penal systems who won’t beg their favorite athlete to intercede for them.

Count one request for pardon for every current and FORMER imprisoned felon….the numbers will amount to millions. This is a lefty dream come true. There are no limits on Pardons, either at the state or federal level.

May as well let ’em all go, since it will be impossible to justify pardoning one over another (even cop-killing Puerto Rican terrorists, ala Clinton), and the lefties will show no restraint in their demands for “justice.”

    clintack in reply to bear. | June 8, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Follow through to what happens next.

    Are the NFL players going to forward *all* of those requests on to the President?
    (If so, he can make political hay from that.)

    Are they going to ignore his offer?
    (If so, he can make political hay from that.)

    Are some of them going to make a few limited suggestions?
    (If they’re good suggestions — he has the option to pardon some.
    If they’re bad — he can make political hay from that.)

    It’s hard to see how this offer hurts President Trump.

      Fen in reply to clintack. | June 9, 2018 at 5:56 am

      Bear: “There won’t be even one inmate anywhere in the local, state or federal penal systems who won’t beg their favorite athlete to intercede for them”

      Bonus Points: if you want an audience with the President to discuss pardoning your buddy, best not bash him publicly.

      Look for Lebron et al to change their tune and start sucking up to Trump for the next 6 years: “…done more for black issues than any President in my lifetime, even more than Obama. And he’s right about Al Sharpton pimping racial discord, and…”. Great PR.

      Art of the deal.

      Trump, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!

      MajorWood in reply to clintack. | June 9, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Asking and granting are two separate steps.

BlackLivesMatter to impale itself with it’s own sword in 3.. 2…

    murkyv in reply to Fen. | June 8, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    BLM was created based on blatant lies. As we know from the wonderful coverage here on LI, both Trayvon and the Gentle Giant got exactly what they deserved based on their own stupid and violent actions at the time.

    Pretty much every one of the high profile killing of blacks the Left has latched onto have been thugs who acted stupidly and paid the price

      Fen in reply to murkyv. | June 9, 2018 at 6:30 am

      I had an interesting interaction with a BLM activist on FacePlant before I quit the site last year.

      He gave me the usual talking points about systemic injustice for blacks. But having been educated about each case here on LI, I went down the list – Martin, Brown, Gray, Scott – and careful explained how each case was justified or a hoax.

      I told him I willing to accept his premise about the racial bias in our justice system, but that every single one of his examples was false. I asked him, “if the system is as systemically corrupt as you say, why can’t you find cases that prove it?”

      This guy was no dummy, he was a critical thinker. He didn’t bash me, he came back with a nuetral non-committal response – the kind that makes you sense you’ve gotten through to him, and if you give him space and don’t rub his face in it, he’ll recognize that BLM is hurting his cause (losing trust of people who are open to agreement) more than helping it.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Fen. | June 9, 2018 at 9:13 am

    BLM has and always will stand for Black Lies Matter or Black Liars Matter. Every high profile case that they have promoted as an injustice turned out to be lawful justice.

    I do agree that this is a brilliant PR move on Trump’s part, he can dribble out a handful of pardons all the way up to 2020. Trump for 2020, may Hillary expire before then, if not,we can all watch her pitch an even bigger fit

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Fen. | June 9, 2018 at 9:13 am

    BLM has and always will stand for Black Lies Matter or Black Liars Matter. Every high profile case that they have promoted as an injustice turned out to be lawful justice.

    I do agree that this is a brilliant PR move on Trump’s part, he can dribble out a handful of pardons all the way up to 2020. Trump for 2020, may Hillary expire before then, if not,we can all watch her pitch an even bigger fit

The Put-Up-Or-Shut-Up defense. Not bad. It does run the risk of the Leftists getting organized enough to…

Oh. Never mind.

I love this. Thousands of pardons sounds like a winner to me. Cops lie, cheat and steal. Trump is putting those abuses on display.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Same Same. | June 9, 2018 at 10:21 am

    I have seen cops lie, but they did so to finally nail really slippery criminals, and justice was served.

    I tend to be pretty sympathetic to LEOs. They have a tough job, a dangerous job. I am thankful that they are willing to clean out the gutters so that the rest of us are not subjected to the filth.

      I was sympathetic, held the Blue Line. But then I ran into a pair of LEOs who’s arrogance and incompetence genuinely frightened me. I had to talk them down. If a bystander had stepped on a twig – Crack! – I think they would have pulled on me and fired and sorted it out at the morgue. I had both hands out and open, acting calm and cooperating fully. They were undisciplined unprofessional and jumpy.

      I don’t think a black kid with an attitude would have faired as well.

      I should gone down to the station to file complaint about their lack of training, but I just wanted to get out of Baltimore.

      If a police chief is lurking, this was vincinty of 6700 Security Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21207. Their ROEs and training suck.

        Fen in reply to Fen. | June 9, 2018 at 5:26 pm

        And my assessment is that of a Marine infantryman who’s manned roadblocks and vehicle searches in Somalia and Iraq. Ironically, our ROEs were much more stringent.

        If these guys were mine, I would have moved them to remedial bullshit duty. They are a ticking riot bomb.

        Anonamom in reply to Fen. | June 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm

        “Their ROEs and training suck.”

        I’m going to say “probably not” to that, Fen. I’m going to bet that the problem is fundamentally a HIRING problem. When you are forced to hire morons (whether through poor policy decisions or just the state of the market), it is not surprising that they are incapable of handling a difficult, high-stress profession.

        I agree, however, that giving stupid people guns and authority is a very, very bad thing. I’m sorry that happened to you, Fen.

The savy deal maker in action, instead of the posturing buffoon the Left makes him out as.

There’s no question that the American Justice System is not infallible or always fair. It compares favorably to just about all 3rd world nations, and many 1st world ones – recall the Italian authorities refusal to admit that that US exchange student didn’t murder her roommate – because it would be embarrassing to admit it. And don’t get me even started on Italian (or French) police interrogation techniques.

And we have our own embarrassments – like when the Boston FBI office (under Mueller, btw) let innocent (of those crimes at least) wise guys get arrested and sentenced for murders they KNEW had been committed by their own wise guy informant.

Most presidents tend to issue pardons/commutations in the last half of their term – some (like Clinton) saving the particularly questionable ones for the very end – when public backlash is moot. If Trump sees a particularly good candidate for intervention and moves on it – good for him. And if NFL players are so sure that injustice is the rule rather than the exception they should have NO difficulty in naming names – other than unrepentant cop killers who actually did do the crime hopefully.

The National Anthem, the Pledge of Alegiance, the Flag, they all represent support of an IDEAL.
Those who deplore supporting that ideal because the perfection unatainable short of god hood hasn’t been achieved are immature in their expectations. Those who support the ideal – while still acknowledging the targeted goal are adults and the folks who will bring us closer to that goal – as opposed to spoiled brats who denigrate anything short of the unatainable.

healthguyfsu | June 8, 2018 at 9:23 pm

“there is much about our justice system that is far from just and particular populations who are disproportionately impacted.”

Justice is not always served that’s true, but that’s where we stop. The lazy data manipulation used by social scientists to validates their biases are not any kind of proof of “disproportionate impact”. Use of force and use of criminal penalties is proportional to crime commissions in certain demographics. That’s the data that the BLM and their friends always want to ignore as “racist”.

    Anonamom in reply to healthguyfsu. | June 9, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Thank you, heathguyfsu, for saying what I was about to. The sentence you quoted just about made my head explode.

10 bucks says Mumia will be one of those names thrown out there.

    Tom Servo in reply to murkyv. | June 9, 2018 at 9:33 am

    maybe so – but there’s no question that Mumia really did murder a cop. (no question from serious people, at least) No rational claim that he was unfairly treated.

    Observer in reply to murkyv. | June 9, 2018 at 10:03 am

    They can throw his name out all the want, but Trump won’t pardon him, because he can’t. Mumia was convicted of state (Pennsylvania) crimes, not federal. Only the Pennsylvania governor can pardon Mumia, and hopefully he won’t, because Mumia is guilty as sin.

      murkyv in reply to Observer. | June 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      Sorry for the down vote. Fat fingers.

      You know and I know that Trump can’t pardon mumia.

      But the kneelers aren’t exactly known for their IQ, given that they push a “movement” that has nothing to do with facts or reality

Trump, you magnificent bastard, you know how to read the Kneelers’ play.

1. If the Kneelers actually submit some names, the nut case prog base will accuse them of treachery and collaborating with The Donald.

Advantage: Trump.

2. If the Kneelers don’t submit any names, they’ll look like the overpaid, virtue-signaling punks we all know they are.

Advantage: Trump.

So much winning…..

Better then even that. Regardless of what the SJWs do, I bet President Trump already has a short list of African Americans who got screwed by the justice system that he will pardon.

The Left should be terrified. Because the black community is about to witness the Democrat’s “white supremacist leader” come crashing down.

Replaced with a flashing neon sign: “Escape Plantation for Underground Railroad. Next Exit”

    Fen in reply to Fen. | June 8, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    about to witness the Democrat’s “white supremacist leader” NARRATIVE come crashing down.

I think this is a fairly shrewd move on Trump’s part. Have his staff watch all the NFL games, and take note of who was kneeling during the anthem at each game.

Call 1 high profile player (like Kaepernick) and get a suggestion.

Then pick a couple of no names that were kneeling that nobody recognizes – watch them fumble and stumble and admit that they don’t have any examples of people who have been wrongly treated by law enforcement.

The next week when they kneel – call them out on a tweet.


I expect that they will only pick Mumia if somebody reminds them who he is – it’s been a long time since he was news.

But if they do choose Mumia, I would suggest that Trump offer a commutation conditional upon Mumia renouncing his American citizenship and moving to Zimbabwe, never to return. It probably wouldn’t take more than a few months before he would be begging to go back to a US prison.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Toad-O. | June 8, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Never happen — Zimbabwe knows that Mumia is more trouble than he’s worth…

    Observer in reply to Toad-O. | June 9, 2018 at 10:06 am

    Trump can’t offer Mumia a commutation, or a pardon, because Mumia was convicted of state crimes, not federal, and Trump has no power either to commute his sentence or pardon him.

Too bad the Eagles players were too petulant and indignant to sit down with the President. They could have had first dibs.

How many of these innocent angels will be guilty as sin? Wonder if anybody involved had thought that through.

roylofquist | June 9, 2018 at 2:32 am

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Pay attention: “and to petition the Government”.

The players have grievances. Trump reads them the 1st Amendment. The crowd goes wild.

    Yup. The more I think it over, the more I realize just how brilliant this maneuver is.

    The Left thinks they are up against Monty, but it’s really Patton. And they still can’t fathom how “that clown Monty” keeps outflanking them.

    Speaking of “smart sophisticated intellectuals”, the pardon issue has been up on everyone’s radar for a few weeks now…. Any scintillating articles from the NRO boys along the lines? No “Trump should offer to pardon…” insight from all the scribblers who are o
    “obviously” smarter than this man they’ve been mocking as an idiot for so long? Hmmm….

This is genius, as was its precursor the pardoning of Alice Johnson. I’m not a fan of life sentences with no possibility for parole for non-violent drug-related crimes; never was. There are a lot of such people of all races who should be released from prison.

Trump is approaching this very real issue in a very smart way. It’s not Obama’s SJW pot-stirring, divisive approach intended to create discord and animosity amongst Americans; it’s hey, you know what, you have a valid argument, and I will consider it on its merits.

This is how we slay the SJW race-baiters . . . we make it not about race or “social”/”racial”/blah-de-blah justice, but about real, equal justice under the law.

    forksdad in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 9, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Prosecutors use drugs because they are easy to prove and easy to plead.

    A murderer who I arrested so many multiple times I cannot count decades ago and was arrested by my son many multiple times finally after several decades was convicted of murder.

    The judge noted the murderer had no record. Because everything had always been deferred or pled-down over the years there was no official record.

    Sometimes that first time non-violent drug offense was pled-down from rape, assault, burglary, robbery, or even attempted murder. I talked to a guy once in prison who cheerfully admitted to not committing the crime he pled to, but he always added, “I did a lot worse I was never convicted of.”

      I’m quite sure that President Trump is made aware of each case history in his pardon considerations and wouldn’t be so lame as to pardon Bugsy Malone for tax evasion, knowing the many murders under Malone’s belt. Geez, the last thing he needs is to let loose the next Willy Horton, right? (used as an example, of course I know that Horton was on a weekend furlough and not pardoned; my point is that Trump’s well aware of the political and personal backlash that would be associated with releasing a violent criminal who swiftly goes about raping, assaulting, battering, murdering, and so on.).

      I guess I just imagine that Trump isn’t a complete moron. I could be wrong, of course, but I’m not betting on him releasing a serial killer convicted of drug smuggling/running/whatevering.

        forksdad in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 9, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        I’m not saying Trump’s not careful. I’m saying there are very few saints in prison. Everyone should take anything they say with a healthy dose of salt.

A few non-tribal observations…

Presidential pardons are limited to Federal crimes. No POTUS can pardon a state crime.

While MAYBE a good PR move, it can have several possible…and quite large…bad effects.

It may well put pressure on governors to follow suit. It could become a fad, with some obvious pubic safety implications. Pardons a likely on the table for every governor in the U.S. now. I understand that many have people who do nothing but vet potential pardons. This move COULD put overwhelming pressure on such staff, or mandate expansion of the staff at a further cost to taxpayers.

It seems obvious that it will act as ANother slap in the face of the entire criminal law infrastructure, an extension of the ones T-rump has already delivered and Barracula kept delivering. Prosecutors and LEOs are going to have to justify and actively defend convictions.

The subject athletes are going to go somewhere for advice on who they should recommend in many cases. Who do we figure that will be? I’d bet the ACLU and SPLC, along with BLM.

When the POTUS or governors decline…as they had better in many cases…a pardon, will that help or harm the public mood. When they grant a pardon that seems unsupportable, will Americans feel increased safety under the law?

    forksdad in reply to Ragspierre. | June 9, 2018 at 9:33 am

    I think pardons are necessary there can be cases of injustice.

    However, they should be rare, well researched, and involve truly penitent petitioners (if guilty). It’s a mistake to issue blanket pardons or hasty ones.

      Ragspierre in reply to forksdad. | June 9, 2018 at 10:04 am

      I agree. I also feel strongly that felony convictions should be expunged on certain rigorous conditions. One of the purposes of our penal system is “rehabilitation”. In Texas, expungement is impossible, and a felony conviction follows a convict the rest of their lives, defeating “rehabilitation” almost entirely.

    Tom Servo in reply to Ragspierre. | June 9, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Not a likely problem – not many states give their executive the unlimited blanket pardon power that the US Constitution gives to the President, for Federal crimes.

    For example, in Texas, Gov. Abbott cannot pardon anyone he pleases, he can only pardon those whose application has been approved by a majority of the members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Admittedly, Texas has a very weak Governor compared to most other states.

      Ragspierre in reply to Tom Servo. | June 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

      I don’t see any significant objection because the pardon power is delegated to an executive bureaucracy.

Apparently, Duh Donald thinks he can unilaterally pardon Russia and restore it to the G7.

There are LOTS of reasons why THAT’S a bad idea, too.

There is absolutely no comparison between Mumia Abu Jamal and Alice Marie Johnson. The latter admitted guilt and begged for mercy. The former is still fighting for a new trial claiming innocence and has an active appeal concerning judicial bias. I don’t believe he would ever accept any outcome except complete exoneration. I am from Pennsylvania, and it does not appear that leftist Governor Ton Wolf is amenable to any kind of intervention.

He is fighting for the right to appeal.