Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As election aftermath shows, hate keeps moving the chains

On Thursday, Bucs offensive lineman Demar Dotson talked about getting destroyed on social media.

You see, Dotson told media Wednesday that he had voted for our president-elect, Donald Trump. The Tampa Bay Times ran Dotson's quotes in the paper.

Dotson said his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram world exploded.

There was venom. There was hate.

"I couldn't believe it," Dotson said.

I can.

We just had the most hateful presidential race in our lifetime.

Think that spigot runs out overnight?

I'll say it again: There's more truth in one game of sports than in all presidential campaigns put together.

Who has time to listen?

Hate takes less time and thinking.

I know people who have told me they're dreading Thanksgiving, because it means Clinton voters sitting with Trump voters. There will be arguments. Dread. Thanksgiving. Family. Think about that.

Whatever happened to just watching the Thanksgiving football games?

Protests have broken out in the country. It's a healthy thing, a democracy kind of thing, except where violence has erupted. The only people I don't get are the ones who want our president-elect to fail. I remember people saying that when Barack Obama was elected, too.

I'm a sports writer. I've traveled this country. I can't say I've stopped and listened to real people everywhere I've gone. Do any of us know all the America that's out there? There are so many voices. Some just made themselves heard. People are marching in streets. They're making themselves heard, too.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who inspired a movement, didn't vote. He passed. Clown.

For years, I've heard people screaming at each other over sports. It's not enough to be right. The other person or point of view needs to be dead wrong, complete idiotic, morally bankrupt.

And those are just about sports. This is about who we elect and don't elect. It's profoundly more important, meaning it's profoundly more hateful.

I'm from deep blue New York. Someone in my family once told me that my late father, whom I worshiped, went into a voting booth in 1968 and voted for George Wallace, a hateful man.

I still don't want to believe that happened. But I think about it before and after every election. I think of my dad every time I hear other voices, voices I don't completely disagree with, voices I can't fathom. I try a little harder to understand.

I have a friend who told me he was going to move to Canada if George W. Bush was elected in 2000. Well, my friend is still here. We can joke about it.

And I can laugh at Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta's tweet about helping Hollywood types move to Canada, as some had promised. I thought the tweet was funny. If we can't laugh, we're done.

There are people cheering our next president. There are people stacking furniture against doors, thinking this man is coming for them. None of these emotions are make-believe, especially the hate.

Demar Dotson just felt some of it. He's not alone. It's enough to scare us out of our wits. I hope it scares us into them.

Here comes Thanksgiving.

What are the football games, anyway?

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