When Alex Cora, the manager of the 2018 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, announced he would not accept the ceremonial invitation from President Donald Trump, he joined a host of other athletes and teams that declined that opportunity. The entire Golden State Warriors team, NBA Champions, refused the President’s offer, to which Trump responded by disinviting the team. This pattern of using a symbolic opportunity for a President to win public favour by positioning themselves next to championship athletes as a moment to engage in political advocacy did not begin with Trump. In 2011, Boston Bruin goaltender Tim Thomas refused to visit Barack Obama’s White House due to opposition to his domestic policies.
Alex Cora, a native Puerto Rican, argued that it was Trump’s inaction in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the ongoing problems on that Island that influenced his decision. He wrote in an open letter in a Puerto Rican newspaper “I’ve used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten and my absence (from the White House) is no different. As such, at this moment, I don’t feel comfortable celebrating in the White House.” Whether or not you agree with him on Trump’s policies isn’t important, it’s that his decision to skip was personal. But the reaction to his decision has unveiled a more disturbing part of this story.
Other members of the Red Sox team have also declined the invitation, while other members are going. We’ve seen this before when the Washington Capitals visited the White House after their 2018 Stanley Cup Championship victory. Washington forward Devante Smith-Pelley, a black player, refused to accompany his team over racial politics. Given Trump’s perceived racism (not the point of this article), black athletes have been uncomfortable visiting and engaging in this long tradition. This is the same division now being sown on the Boston Red Sox. All of the players who will visit the White House are white, all of the players who aren’t attending are not white. Trump has effectively divided the clubhouse into racial camps.
Boston sport writer Steve Buckley forced the racial dynamic when he tweeted the following.
David Price, a half-black half-white star pitcher for the Red Sox then amplified the message to his 1.8 million followers.
His sentiment seemed to suggest that indeed there was racial discord in the club house over the issue of Trump. He later clarified for the Boston Globe that “It was an insensitive tweet that needs to be seen by more people. That’s what it was.” He tried to mollify the nasty racial element, downplaying that part, but it’s bigger than that. Given previous athletes evocation of racism and the clear racial lines other teams and the Red Sox experienced over this trip, we should pause to consider the implications.
That this is happening to the Boston Red Sox is strange poetry. Boston, despite its reputation as a Progressive haven has a long troubled history with anti-black racism, especially in baseball. The Red Sox in particular have a sordid past on this issue. They were the final team in the Major Leagues to break the colour barrier. A full twelve years after Jackie Robinson desegregated the Major Leagues in 1947, Boston finally included a black player on their roster. Owner Tom Yawkey would not voluntarily integrate his team and was essentially forced to include a black player through lawsuits and public hearing initiated against the discriminatory practices. How Progressive.
These problems creeped up again in 2017, when Baltimore Orioles black outfielder Adam Jones received racist taunts from fans in the stands. Jones was slurred with the N-word and had bags of peanuts thrown at him on the field. People in Boston are aware of the issue, a Suffolk University poll from 2017 indicated that 42% of residents believed Boston to be a racist city, and 45% disagreeing with that suggestion. This doesn’t mean that Bostonians are racist to the core, or that even the city itself harbours more racists than other cities. The point of this is to show that racial politics played out through sport in Boston seems to reflect other racial attitudes held in the city.
That is what makes Alex Cora’s decision and the uproar surrounding it all the more interesting. When Tim Thomas refused to meet with Barack Obama, he was mercilessly hounded over the decision by his partisan allies and dogged by his partisan opponents. It’s the same with the visits to Trump’s White house. Like Trump, chastise Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr of the Golden State warriors and praise Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (refrain from Putin/Trump joke).
Hate Trump, reverse the position. Making everything black and white about blacks and whites reduces the nuance of the situation. It’s complex to see a Boston Red Sox team engaging in a type of self segregation by race given the legacy of racism in the organization. One wonders if this is a negative sign of further racial disintegration in a national institution (baseball) or just another blip in the era of Trump. Can the two be separated? Is it significant that it’s the Boston Red Sox, or would it be similar for any other team? The casualty of the culture wars, and by extension their manifestation in sport world, is we look at everything through that lens. When David Price wants to reduce the insistence on race, we read his tweet the wrong way and focus on the racial divide even more.
Sport and politics will never be separated and have never been, but something else is happening today than in the past. If want sports to be respite, an escape, we have to do better when something we perceive as furthering the culture wars inside sports ruffles our feathers. There are too many people who want to turn sports into an extension of politics, rather than a place where they sometimes collide. We shouldn’t play that game.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself—sort of.
At 10:54 am on Wednesday, Trump unveiled a gem to the world; a photo of himself, photoshopped on the body of Rocky Balboa.
The photo, which is actually of Sylvester Stallone from the poster for Rocky III, received a warm reception from his supporters and screeching hatred from the never-Trump crowd.
A flurry of memes from those who didn’t seem to get the joke came in, with many of them pointing out that Trump is actually overweight.
This is the latest in a series of Trump tweets that have utilized Photoshop.
Trump previously tweeted a doctored photo of himself putting a paw-shaped medal around the neck of Conan the terrorist-slaying dog, which led to joyless organizations like the New York Times to fact check the post, as if it wasn’t clearly photoshopped.
The photo, made by the team over at Daily Wire, became a thorn in the side of the Times, as they ran a headline reading “Trump Tweets Faked Photo Of Hero Dog Getting a Medal.”
“The dog appeared to have been edited over a 2017 Medal of Honor recipient,” stated the Times’ article, which has since reached a fine ratio of 516 Retweets to over 2,800 replies.
Trump also previously tweeted a doctored photo of himself with larger hands, which has roots from comments made by former Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, wherein Rubio said Trump had small hands.
The United States has once again called out Canada’s underspending on defence.
Sources told Global News that the U.S. government recently sent a “blunt” letter to the Department of National Defence calling out Canada’s lack of spending on military, failing to meet the NATO target of two percent of GDP.
Global News didn’t obtain a copy of the letter, but were told by sources it was a “frustrated, critical tone”.
“There are very serious threats to our freedom and our security and if NATO is going to be effective, and if we want to put our money where our talk is, we got to spend that money to defend ourselves,” U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien said at the Halifax International Security Forum on Saturday.
“The relationship with Canada and the U.S., the defence relationship, I think, is even stronger now, because they see a tangible plan that we have created,” Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Sunday on The West Block, downplaying the significance of the letter.
In 2017 the Liberals announced deferred and incrementral increased spending on the Canadian military to $33 billion annually by the next decade, although it was also widely reported in 2017 that $8.5 billion in military procurement will be deferred until 2030.
In the 2016 U.S. election Trump ran on telling Americans he would get NATO partners to meet their obligations of spending two percent of their respective GDPs on military.
“It’s a legitimate concern, [Trump’s] empirically correct, we are not spending close to our contribution. And that’s been going on for a very long time,” said Sprott School of Business professor and public policy expert Ian Lee to The Post Millennial.
At the 2014 NATO summit Canada said it would reach the two percent target within 10 years, but Lee and other experts say that Canada is not on track to meet that promise.
According to NATO, Canada is set to spend 1.27 percent of the country’s GDP on defence this year.
The Trump administration has previously put tariffs on Canadian steel on the pretext of “national security” concerns during and after NAFTA renegotiations.
“He could, theoretically, because it is Trump, say ‘I’m going to invoke some sort of sanctions on your exports to the United States because you’re not playing ball over there,” said Lee.
“It’s an election year starting in January. If he’s feeling vulnerable he may be looking for some hot-button issues to rejuvenate his campaign. And if he starts arguing, ‘Those freeloaders up north, they not only cheat us on our milk, but now they’re free-riding on their defence. He can gin it up for political purposes.”
The Democrats’ breathless efforts to impeach Trump are an unconscionable waste of time at this point. A recent Marist poll shows that pretty much no Americans care about the impeachment, and none of this rending of garments in Congress will have any impact on their vote.
“65% of Americans say they can’t imagine any information or circumstances during the impeachment inquiry where they might change their minds about their position on impeachment. Just 30% say yes, it’s possible.”
Either people’s minds are already decided along partisan lines, or they’re just so bored of the Democrats anti-Trump rhetoric that nothing the left says rings true. In light of the botched Russia scandal last year, and all the vague charges lobbed at Trump, the latter seems most likely.
The Democrats have been pushing the idea that Trump is a total catastrophe since 2016, and nothing they’ve thrown at him—sexual harassment issues, the attempt to discredit Brett Kavanaugh, tax questions—has stuck. The more Democrats complain about what a national disaster Trump is the more Americans roll their eyes and want them to shut up.
At issue is whether or not Trump “pressured Ukraine to conduct investigations of conspiracy theories related to the 2016 presidential campaign and Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president.”
Americans love to dabble in conspiracy theories, but this lacks all the hallmarks of a good impeachment hearing. The last time we had an impeachment inquiry, there was a cigar, a dirty dress, and an Oval Office sex scandal. Before that, we had actual evidence of Nixon lying, on tape. Phone calls where we have to read between the lines and squint really hard to find the crime just aren’t going to cut it.
What the Democrats should be doing is actually attempting to govern and re-earn the trust of the American people. This incessant finger-pointing at the Commander in Chief, clutching of pearls, fainting on couches has gotten quite tiresome.
Congress has far more power than the President, and they should be wielding it to draft and enact actual policy, not sitting in endless hearings, wasting time and money on an impeachment where no one even cares if it will happen or not.
It’s day 334 of detention for Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, held captive by China in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December 2018.
Meng’s wanted in the United States for charges related to the Chinese tech-giant’s violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, allegedly conducting business with the rogue Islamist state through a front company in Hong Kong.
Shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, he withdrew the United States from the ‘Iran nuclear deal’, favouring sanctions and sabre rattling to prevent Iran from enriching uranium and building nuclear weapons.
Caught between two economic and military superpowers, Canada got a bit of reprieve this week, at least our pig farmers did, after China lifted its embargo on Canadian pork while similar, retaliatory prohibitions remain for our canola and beef.
If these problems weren’t enough, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s previous government delayed a decision whether to allow Huawei 5G technology onto our domestic telecommunications network – the United States has already banned it over national security concerns.
During a CBC interview aired Monday with Susan Rice, the former U.S. national security advisor to President Barack Obama echoed these concerns and said Huawei 5G presented a clear and present danger.
“It’s hard for me to emphasize adequately, without getting into classified terrain, how serious it is, particularly for countries involved in the Five Eyes,” said Rice who explained threat, then suggested the signals intelligence alliance (Five Eyes) between U.S., Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia would be jeopardized if Canada went ahead with Huawei 5G.
Huawei isn’t the only company that can provide 5G, purportedly capable of 10 gigabytes-per-second of data transfer that can activate a Bluetooth ‘internet of things’ world where all gadgets are operable via smartphone.
But Huawei’s current proliferation in the marketplace and its ties with the Chinese Communist Party, as The Post Millennial previously reported, raise questions about why the Trudeau government dithers on this national security front.
“It gives the China the ability, if they choose to use it, to access all kinds of information, civilian intelligence, military, that could be very, very compromising. As much as I disagree with the Trump administration on a number of things, on this their concern about Huawei, I believe they’re right.”
Rice went on to say that if Canada were to allow the technology on its telecom infrastructure that would forever change the security relationship between our countries.
“That would put the security collaboration which serves the security interests of every Canadian and every American, into jeopardy,” Rice said. “It can’t be done. I don’t see how we can share (intelligence) in the way we have. It’s not a joke. It’s truly serious.”
National security concerns about Huawei 5G are not new – New Zealand and Australia have followed America’s lead, while UK and Canada dither – despite warnings from intelligence experts, and now the former U.S. national security advisor.
Adding more complications to the diplomatic mess, and the Trudeau government’s inability to make a decision on Huawei 5G – one Rice’s interview indicates should be a no-brainer – is the extent to which Huawei has wormed its way into Canadian university research, and the money mainland China students pay to attend post-secondary here.
According to internal documents from the University of British Columbia obtained by National Post, after Meng’s arrest, faculty and administrators were more worried about losing Chinese students, related Huawei research deals and estranging faculty from China, than national security or the university’s integrity.
Huawei research sponsorship at UBC is currently worth $9.5 million and mainland China students make up nearly 10 percent of total enrolment at the university; 5,717 or approximately one-third of all international students at the school.
In the day’s following Meng’s arrest as she was transiting through Vancouver International Airport, teachers and admin contemplated a PR strategy to combat commentary in media critical of Canadian universities’ relations with Huawei.
On December 10, the same day Kovrig and Spavor were arrested in China – the pair have since been accused of espionage – Paul Evans, an Asia expert at UBC’s public policy school wrote colleagues proposing they decide whether to be “proactive or reactive” to events that could impact research cash or students from the communist regime.