Publish date:

LIVE AND LEARN

Author:

Our 45th president would have loved Vince Lombardi. (A real winner!) And he could have picked up a thing or two from the man

If you asked President Trump what he thinks about Vince Lombardi, I bet it would go something like this: Now that's a great American! Winner. They don't come tougher. A beautiful man ... beautiful. Wonderful example of what makes America great. We would have been great friends.

It would be close to that. So it's interesting to note that at a similar time in our country, nearly 50 years ago, Lombardi (left) spoke in support of the social unrest movement. In 1970, Paul Zimmerman interviewed him, four months before the coach died, at 57. As Zimmerman later wrote: We were in the latter stages of the counterculture movement, campus unrest, hippies.... "They're showing an awareness; they're making themselves heard," he said. "They have a right to say what they want, and it behooves us to listen. My kids tell me things, and sometimes I have trouble understanding. Well, I've got to learn."

Had Lombardi not died so young, I'm guessing he'd have engaged some player about what was going on in this country. A player like Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who has stood with a raised fist during the national anthem and who helps lead the 40-odd-man Players Coalition. Jenkins would have told Lombardi something like what he told The MMQB: "Athletes have been doing this work for a long time. We just don't hear about it.... If we just go out and do the work silently, it doesn't get the attention it needs."

Maybe Trump should invite Jenkins to the White House for a discussion about why players are so angry. That would be a great meeting, potentially a healing meeting. I don't believe Trump would make the call, though.