In a press conference on Saturday, Ravens Coach John Harbaugh pivoted from what he saw as a missed call for intentional grounding in Baltimore’s preseason opener to illegal immigration and Donald Trump.
The tenuous connection between NFL officiating and immigration had to do with how few training camp practices officials are allowed to work. Harbaugh blamed what he thought was a missed call in the preseason opener on the referees’ being “very rusty.” Harbaugh wants to see officials working all through training camp to prepare to do “something at the highest level possible.” According to Harbaugh, the league blames the refs union, while the refs claim they want more practice.
He compared the standoff to national politics. Then he said, “I’m going Trump here.”
“Build a wall. It’s not that hard,” he went on. “If you don’t have a border, you don’t have a country. You’re not a country without a border, right? At the same time, we’ve got 12 to 15 million hard-working people here. Give them a shot! Give them a chance to become a citizen so they’re paying taxes.”
Harbaugh went on his political diatribe with a grin that suggest he was at least somewhat aware of what a sharp tangent he was taking. But it didn’t make it any less weird.