Friday, June 08, 2018

John Cook Stumbles Into A Trump Controversy

In a now-deleted tweet, Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook put out a public request on Tuesday night for a White House visit for his volleyball team.
Nebraska would love to go to the White House! Huskers would be honored and proud to visit our leaders in DC and represent Nebraska and the Natty! #gbr
Nothing wrong with a White House visit, per 'se. Husker volleyball has been to Washington after each of their previous national championships; they deserve the trip.

But the tweet rubbed a lot of people wrong.  Myself included.

Why?  It was the timing.  Tuesday was supposed to be the day that the Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to visit the White House, but when many players passed on the visit in response to President Trump's criticism of NFL players, the event was scuttled.  Instead, Tuesday was filled with all sorts of back and forth.  Criticism of the NFL and it's players.  Criticism of Trump.

And suddenly, there's John Cook and Nebraska volleyball, seeming to side with Donald Trump in the debate.  ("If the Eagles don't want to go, we'll do it!") Whether that was Cook's intention or not, Nebraska volleyball was now thrust into the noise and disorder of American politics.

Cook expressed surprise to the World-Herald that this was controversial.  I kind of understand how that could happen if he pays little to no attention to politics. (That's a blissful position, to be honest, considering where we are in this country.) But by that same manner... why is the most successful active coach in the state of Nebraska begging for a White House invitation on Twitter?

Why weren't our Congressional representatives already working on this?  Both U.S. Senators and all three House Representatives belong to the same political party as the President.  These visits after previous championships had been all arranged and set up in the spring.

John Cook shouldn't have been tweeting for an invitation for his volleyball team; he probably should have been more aware that there was a reason why this was all over the news Tuesday.

But just the same, he shouldn't need to request something like this on Twitter. This is something that should have been handled by our elected representatives in Washington.  All five members of Congress bear responsibility for this mess.

Yes, John Cook is better than this.  But more importantly, Cook and his volleyball team deserved better.

No comments: