Some recent stories in the news:
- Denounce the Hate, Mr. Trump (New York Times, Nov. 10)
- Tell Donald Trump to reject hate and bigotry (SPLC, Nov. 11)
- Why Hasn’t Donald Trump Denounced The Spike In Hate Crimes Since His Election? (Huffington Post, Nov. 12)
- Slate’s Jamelle Bouie Calls On Trump To Denounce Post-Election Intimidation And Violence Against Minorities (Media Matters, Nov. 13)
A parallel between the story told by those links and the world of soccer occurred to me today: Trump’s silence is like the ref who “lets the players play”. Early in a game – the higher the stakes of the game, the more crucial this is – players will experimentally make some rough plays, some tougher tackles than they might otherwise make. They’re testing the waters, trying to find out how much they can get a way with. And if the ref “lets them play”, the result is usually a game that gets out of hand: play is ugly, injuries are more likely, the ref later may have to give a flurry of yellow and red cards to try to regain control.
Leave aside the question of what politician ever in history wouldn’t at least make some kind of feel-good statement – less than a week after the election! – about healing our divides, unification, etc. My point is that President-elect Trump, in failing to do literally the least he could do in the face of these terrible acts, will have the same damaging effect as those lenient refs.
Only I worry in this case, the message being sent isn’t accidental.