Rashad Jennings: We can still make difference under Donald Trump

How does a team trust a coach in which it doesn’t fully believe, a coach who leaves the entire team divided?

This was the question that a United States in shambles faced Wednesday after a debacle of an election, after it was effectively torn asunder by the shocking presidential rise of Donald Trump.

But it was a question that Rashad Jennings answered easily. To the Giants running back, there was no reason for concern or objection. Yes, there will soon be a President Donald Trump.

No, that doesn’t need to stop the progress the nation has made over the last two-plus centuries, not if citizens realize how much impact they can have in their own communities.

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“I personally have the conviction of supporting whoever is in the position, and believe that I’ve got to do my part in communities,” Jennings said. “Everything I want to accomplish is still there.”

It was easy to forget that on the Wednesday, when divisiveness and condescension were all that reverberated through the social media soul of a nation far from united. The election day popular vote split nearly evenly between Trump and Hillary Clinton, leaving Trump to govern a nation split in two.

But Trump, for all his well-chronicled nightmarish failings, won the election, just as the great Barack Obama did twice before him, and as George W. Bush did before that, so this is his country to run. He’s the coach of a torn team, but he must be accepted, said Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. And the Giants’ veteran corner knows a thing or two about such flawed team dynamics − and he knows it’s possible for Americans to find a way to battle through this.

“At the end of the day, your political views, your religion, your relationship, we all get that,” he said. “But when they are elected, ain’t nothing we can do about that. At the end of the day, congrats to whoever wins. That’s my thoughts.

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“It’s gotta be a mindset,” he added of how he approaches playing football, even when things aren’t going his way. “At the end of the day you can only control what you can control. If things are out of your control, to argue and stress at it, that ain’t good.”

It’s the cliche of professional sports that athletes can only control what they can control, that they can’t control when they’re traded or cut but only play the game. And to Jennings, that’s what everyone in the nation can and must do. Just because the new coach is Trump, just because the new man in charge has a history that includes racist and misogynist comments, that doesn’t mean Jennings can’t find ways to make plays.

“I, with respect, am not tied into who’s the Chief, because I follow the law,” Jennings said. “Therefore, I’m going to do what I’m going to do to impact the next person. We’ve got to do our part no matter what. It doesn’t matter who’s in office. That’ll never change. You can’t even argue that.

Football players won't let Trump prevent them from making an impact.

Football players won’t let Trump prevent them from making an impact.

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“Coach can call the play,” he added. “I’ve got to do my part.”

Americans can still do that, although they must rediscover their mutual respect for each other first. That’s been lost over the last few days and months as liberal condescension has ruled on social media, and Trump’s zealots have fired right back in an election that was destined to end with anger and vitriol from some side.

Former Giants offensive lineman Chris Snee, says that can’t work. Snee, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants, recalls how he didn’t always agree with his Giants teammates, especially when Twitter gained locker room prominence. But he always respected them.

“You didn’t have to be best friends with the guy off the field,” said Snee, who retired in 2013. “But you had to respect the guy next to you, in the locker room with you. You come to work and you want to win.”

It’s possible − likely, even − that Trump will make much of that work harder for many in the nation, which is why so many are bracing for the worst. But Jennings, who said he voted for neither Trump nor Clinton, refused to see some coming American Armageddon.

Instead, he told a story of a boy who skips school to hit the beach, then comes home from the beach with sand in his shoes. The boy came home, spilled the sand in his bedroom, and was told by his father that, in a very small way, he’d changed the world, Jennings said. But then the boy realized that a little bit of sand really wasn’t that much, that it would take “days” and “lifetimes” to “actually make an impact” on the beach, Jennings said.

So it will under Trump.

“The point of the story, is we all have to do our part if we really want to make a change, no matter what one man or woman is in office,” he said.

These United States have to remember how to unite.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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