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Political Polls and News

Susan Collins, Voicing Doubt on Health Bill, Leaves It Close to Collapse

“I’m concerned about the impact on the Medicaid program, which has been on the books for more than 50 years and provides health care to our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled children and low-income seniors,” Ms. Collins said on Sunday.


Trump Calls for Boycott if N.F.L. Doesn’t Crack Down on Anthem Protests


Tom Price Says He’ll Stop Use of Private Jets Until After Review

“We’ve heard this criticism, and we’re very, very serious about addressing it,” Mr. Price told Fox News.


Stephen Curry, on a ‘Surreal Day,’ Confronts a Presidential Snub

As a player and as a coach, Kerr has visited the White House on several occasions. And despite his well-publicized criticism of the current administration, Kerr said in June that he was open to the idea of the Warriors’ visiting the White House as something of a unifying gesture.


Trump’s N.F.L. and Stephen Curry Comments Draw Intense Reaction From Athletes

The debate over any visit proved irrelevant, however, when Mr. Trump weighed in on the subject with a tweet on Saturday.


Milo Yiannopoulos Still Plans to Speak at Berkeley After Event Is Canceled

Berkeley has come to be seen as a battleground in national debates over interpretations of the First Amendment, and this month, Free Speech Week was


Sports of The Times: As Trump Takes On Athletes, Watch Them Rise

This is a barely recognizable president. It also is a barely recognizable generation of pro athletes. Thank God for the latter.

Sports of The Times: As Trump Takes On Athletes, Watch Them Rise
President Trump at a rally Friday in Huntsville, Ala., where he said N.F.L. owners should get rid of players who do not stand for the national anthem. Credit Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

Just as the president lays his hand on the third rail of race, the athletes are responding.

The N.B.A. point guard Chris Paul:

To which LeBron James added his own message:

And Bishop Sankey, a Vikings running back:

Other athletes and the presidents of the N.F.L. and N.B.A. player unions have followed suit.

But in the surest and most striking sign of tectonic movements, N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, as careful and conservative a leader as you’ll find in pro sports, felt compelled to call out the president on Saturday. (Trump, in an Emperor Nero complaining about the desultory quality of the gladiators moment, also lamented in Alabama that the N.F.L. had become insufficiently violent.)

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the N.F.L., our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities,” Goodell said in a statement.

It’s not clear how this plays with Goodell’s masters in N.F.L. ownership. They donated many millions to Trump’s presidential campaign; the New England Patriots’ owner, Robert K. Kraft, showered $1 million on the inaugural and has been a vocal ally; and the Patriots’ coach, Bill Belichick, wrote a letter endorsing him last fall.

To summarize this exquisite collision of sports, politics and business: The 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem last season, stirring a national debate about patriotism and the treatment of blacks by the police. For that, the N.F.L. owners appear to have blackballed him from the league this year. For that, more players have taken up Kaepernick’s cause. And for that, President Trump disparaged the league and challenged the owners to fire players for exercising their right to free speech — which they have effectively done to Kaepernick already.

And now Kaepernick’s once lonely protest suddenly has many more supporters.

Let me pause here. For more than a decade, athletes have been chipping at the shells that so many owners, college boosters and media executives had wished upon them. College athletes have tried to organize unions and challenged the N.C.A.A. in court. N.F.L. players have revitalized their once broken-down union; N.B.A. stars have spoken out on all manner of issues.

They have been active citizens, and that is stirring. This cuts both ways. If an athlete were to engage in protests against, say, abortion or gay rights, that would be no less in keeping with our nation’s finest free speech traditions.

Sports of The Times: As Trump Takes On Athletes, Watch Them Rise
LeBron James criticized President Trump’s comment on Saturday about not inviting Stephen Curry to the White House. Credit Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

It’s striking how completely the president has stood this principle on

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