Veteran CNMI national tennis coach Jeff Race joined the growing list of athletes and sports officials criticizing United States President Donald Trump’s actions against the civil unrest happening in the mainland.
“In this moment when so many people are incensed by the murder of George Floyd and a long string of such killings in America by police, Donald Trump is continuing the politics of division that he has chosen throughout his term in office,” said Race, who was at the Atkins Kroll-San Jose intersection yesterday to raise his concerns over the U.S. president’s policies, while a group of people supporting the Black Lives Matter campaign in the wake of the killing of Floyd was having a peaceful protest, too.
Floyd died on May 25 after fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes while he was handcuffed on the ground. The tragedy has sparked protests and violence throughout the U.S., while though miles away from the mainland, Saipan residents rallied behind the cause calling for justice for Floyd and joining the fight against racism.
With the civil unrest continuing in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, Trump last Monday (Tuesday on Saipan), said he was “mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights.”
Race called the president’s words and actions “not those of an elected official, but of a dictator.”
“He ordered the U.S. military to attack its own citizens who were peaceably assembling as is their rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution. Why? So that he could look tough and walk to a church where he was unwelcome for a photo-op while holding a bible that he neither reads nor believes in. I hope that all our fellow Americans go and find a safe way to vote in November, and I really hope that Trump is not the first president in U.S. history to violate this country’s almost 250-year tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. Unfortunately I have zero confidence that that will be the case,” the CNMI Sports Hall of Famer said.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, and several NBA players had earlier criticized Trump, while players in the German and English soccer leagues have shown support to the Black Lives Matter campaign.