Roughly 10,000 people showed up to the MBS Airport in Freeland, Mich., to hear President Donald Trump speak Thursday, Sept. 10. That’s roughly double the projected crowd of 5,000 that the airport was expecting.  

The crowd — a sea of old, white folks wearing Trump shirts and red MAGA hats — was, to little surprise, mostly maskless. Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of masks, instead endorsing the words of a witch doctor who would rather have us all do rounds of hydroxychloroquine than stay six feet apart.

Trump knew how dangerous this pandemic was all the way back in February. He told Bob Woodward, “you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed … And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flu.” 

His lack of leadership has left the United States on its knees. Trump’s negligence has contributed to the deaths of almost 200,000 people, the infection of more than 6 million, an economic recession, the laying off of 6.2 million workers and countless families struggling to find hope in a nation nowhere near being great anymore.

Rather than stand on stage and speak about what work his administration is doing to control COVID-19, take responsibility for lives lost over the past six months or promise to enforce methods of reducing the transmission of this virus, Trump came to Michigan to talk about football.

“You have to have a governor because, you know, right now Michigan’s lagging,” Trump said, “Great football, great coach, great team. We want a governor, John James, that’s going to let Michigan play Big Ten football this year. You’ve been seeing a lot of the other schools want to open Big Ten at my suggestion … But you have Maryland, where they have a problem in terms of playing. And the governors have a lot of power over that. They have a lot of power, a lot of say. So let’s play Big Ten football, right?” 

Since this speech, the Big Ten has announced that it will begin its abbreviated football season in late October. So if Trump was ready to blame Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for its postponement, where is his praise for her now that football is back?

Contrary to Trump’s comments, Whitmer had no control over the University of Michigan’s return to football. Instead, the presidents of the universities in the Big Ten made that call one month before he came to Michigan. Looking back on the situation, it’s as clear as ever that Trump deserves no praise from fans.

Over the course of his term, we have all come to learn that Trump is prepared to blame anyone but himself for the chaos he has created in our nation. He constantly attacks legislators who dare to stand up to him, and his constant failure to lead our nation knows no bounds. So why are we surprised when he also wants to blame football’s postponement on his political foes?

If we should return to football, if you — like me — want to sit in the stands once again without fear of a pandemic or if you want to compete once again on the field without having your season postponed by weeks or months, then Trump is not the man we should vote for. He makes no attempt to lead our country and instead takes the stage — putting his own supporters’ health at risk — and spews slander towards those he disagrees with. 

Our season maybe would have started on Sept. 5 against the University of Washington if Hillary Clinton had become president. Democratic leaders in our nation have taken care of the issue head-on and promptly. Instead, the man who won the Electoral College has time after time shown that he has no idea how to manage a crisis like this. 

If we had a competent president, we would be playing a 13-week season, rather than just eight games. If we had a leader in the White House who contained the virus before it spread across the country, we would have fans in the seats of the Big House. Student-athletes would not need constant health screenings if our president took control of the pandemic on day one.

Now, it is the fourth down, only a few seconds on the clock, and we are trailing by three and 25 yards from the end zone. Who do we trust to pass the ball to? Trump, the butterfingers receiver who hasn’t been able to catch for the four years he’s been with our team? Or Joe Biden, the strong leader we knew for eight years who can make the touchdown? We are going to have to make the choice on Nov. 3.

Nathan La Huis can be reached at

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