President of Southern California Striders backs Trump on ‘SOBs’

Striders teammates [from left] Joe Ruggless, Greg Pizza and Damien Leake are rivals and friends.

Joe Ruggless, a national-class M60 sprinter, is president of the Southern California Striders, a diverse club of champion masters athletes. Over the weekend, Joe posted [and apparently deleted] a 685-word defense of Donald Trump’s condemnation of NFL players who “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem. The president said at an Alabama rally: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired.’You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.” I take high exception with Trump’s beliefs. Many pro athletes (and NFL team owners) have said so as well. But Joe has a right to freely express his own thoughts, grounded in his own lived life. To celebrate the First Amendment — which Colin Kaepernick and Joe Ruggless have equal right to exercise — and to shed light on the mind-set of one Trump supporter, I’m reposting Joe’s note.

This is Joe’s exact post (with only paragraphing and one link added):

To Stephan Gould and all of his Facebook friends. I want to be very respectful and not disrespectful; as my initial response would have been. But after much thought, I decided not to respond that way. You see when I write something spiteful on FaceBook, I later regret it and erase it.

This time I wanted to somehow explain my feelings and why I take the position that I have. I really wanted to say something about this Anti Trump issue with respect to his statement on not respecting the National Anthem and how he felt about the athletes who used their position to make a statement.

I am one of those angry white men who voted for Trump. It wasn’t because I am a racist as I have many African American and Latino friends. I am the president of a major athletic organization that has a large membership of African American athletes. So I wanted to explain why I feel the way I do and agree with President Trumps statement on recent events involving disrespect during the National Anthem and Illegal immigration.

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. and experienced the impact of illegal immigration from the Mexicans who crossed the border illegally and moved into our neighborhoods. Because they could not find work, they would steel from us, vandalize our homes, cars and attack us because we were, in their words, rich Americans and could replace what they took. They became gangs and continued to cause mayhem and discord in our community.

Our life style changed because of this. It was dangerous to go to school because many of the illegal children carried knives and were not afraid to use them.

Now as the African American issue goes, my mother was a Los Angeles Police Department officer. She would tell us about the young pregnant African American girls that they would arrest for stealing or drugs and how they would say that they were going to keep having babies until they out numbered the whites and they would take over the world. Well with this mentality, they just keep flooding the world with children that needed to be taken care of since they had no means of support.

I suspect that this was the main goal of the African American community since they were always considered a minority. In their minds they want to be the majority, but their means were defiantly misguided. So now, we end up with an entire society that needed to be taken care of. Welfare is over taxed, hospitals and schools over ridden.

Nobody wants to talk about this misfortune, but it is what it is. These poor kids with no guidance, who have no future survive the best way that they can, and the easiest way is through crime, Drugs, thefts, etc. So now you have this group of people who are linked to an individual race and are profiled.

I have many African American friends who were good people and were profiled and persecuted because of their skin color, but it wasn’t about predigest, it was about fear. The NAACP once attacked the Television program COPS, because they claimed that they only showed African Americans committing crimes. Because of this they were being predigest.

The network replied that during their live Filming ninety percent of the criminals they were able to film were African American and only ten percent were other ethensisities. So there is a reason why African Americans are profiled.

Now lets get down to the niti gritees. That piece of shit rich NFL athlete Colin Kaepernick who was raised by white parents has no idea what a real african american has experienced, so for him to disrespect the flag, that my father was seriously wounded for, my uncle, neighbor and friends died for can go to hell.

I will never watch a team that supports this behavior. So I support Trump and any NFL, NBL and MLB team that supports this. Those rich pompous bastards who disrespect the flag should be banned from the sports that support them.

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September 25, 2017

27 Responses

  1. Michael D Walker - September 25, 2017

    I can’t say that I agree with Joe Ruggless but is sure should get some interesting responses. Joe’s post started out as he said respectful but became a rant all too quickly.

  2. Jerry Bookin-Weiner - September 25, 2017

    Ken – if, as you say, Joe took this post down, why did you think it contributes to our sport to spread it far and wide. It has nothing whatsoever to do with masters track and field, and he apparently had second thoughts about leaving it up.

    I suggest you ponder your actions this coming weekend.

  3. the dude - September 25, 2017

    I disagree with the protest but I will defend to the death their right to be heard.

  4. track fan - September 25, 2017

    Ken I’m blocking you on facebook. I don’t need any of my posts on a separate social media site posted here without my permission. This smacks of a witch hunt against those who think differently from you. Shameful.

  5. David E. Ortman (M64), Seattle, WA - September 25, 2017

    While “freedom of speech” was not in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, it is part of the first amendment:

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Just to note that the First Amendment is very short, which is one reason that the interpretations are long.

    This is very similar to demands that the Ten Commandments (which appear in two slightly different versions in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) should be posted everywhere, especially public places, but forgetting that Leviticus, Numbers,and Deuteronomy are full of the “regulations.”

    The first obvious thing people forget or haven’t read is that “CONGRESS” can’t make laws abridging the freedom of speech. And certainly, the POTUS has no authority to do so.

    While there are many masters attorneys who could go into great detail, and Wiki is not the fount of all knowledge, the following article at least lays out the most important court cases and limitations on “freedom of speech.”

    And yes, you CAN yell fire in a crowded theater, if there is a fire.

    And no, the “National Anthem,” which never gets to the slaves in the third verse, is NOT the same as the “Flag Pledge,” and there is no requirement to do anything when the National Anthem is played. See:

  6. JStone - September 25, 2017

    Racist comments from someone who cannot spell! Remember, Trump loves the “poorly educated” and they love him! LOL!

  7. Thomas Sputo - September 25, 2017

    To JStone … some of us with Ph.D’s also support President Trump. Just saying.

  8. Stephen Gould - September 25, 2017

    I am the Stephen Gould on whose FB page Joe posted. I don’t agree with Joe politically nor with much of what he wrote – but I don’t think it is entirely appropriate to repost elsewhere, particularly once Joe deleted it.

    Further, I often have robust discussions on my FB page and if someone disagrees with something someone has written, then they can reply (as Damon Blakemore did to Joe’s post, and as I was going to do before Joe deleted it) on even terms, so to speak.

    I am sure that Joe is well aware that the black experience in the US was and is different from the white experience, and he should be free to express (and delete, if he so chooses) his own perspective in a forum which allows for adequate response and debate.

  9. Ken Stone - September 25, 2017

    FYI: I also found Joe’s post newsworthy — since he’s the outgoing president of a major masters track club. I repost FB when I see items of interest to the masters track community, such as cancer updates from Rex Harvey.

  10. tb - September 25, 2017


  11. Wade Sorenson - September 25, 2017

    Trump is the perfect leader for all the old angry white people. What does the national anthem have to do with sporting events? Quit playing the song and move on. It’s comical that white people think the country is keeping them down.

  12. David Schmanski - September 25, 2017

    Ken Stone… You are a pathetic flaming liberal who happens to also be burned out has been limp wrist athlete. You sicken me with your pompous attitude. How dare you try to brow beat others who disagree with you with your worn out hypocritical “I am going to expose you” ploy. Get a life and crawl back in your liberal hell hole. I spit at the sound of your name. You are a disgrace to the sport and society.

  13. Don Schaefer - September 25, 2017

    Ken: I too agree that it was total bush league of you to repost Joe’s ‘deleted’ post. Obviously he had strong feelings and on second thought , might be best to take it down. ( who among us has not done exactly that ) The true reason for reposting after having followed you for several years is that it didn’t fit your political narrative, and it certainly appeared to a good old boy ‘I’ll get back at you”. As a Veteran I fought for all people to be able to voice their opinion. As an American if I disagree with them I have the right to not follow them also.

  14. Ken Stone - September 25, 2017

    Hey, DS! Once I heal my limp wrist, I promise to run faster.

  15. Betty Schaefer - September 25, 2017

    Ken, Shame on you for posting Joe’s DELETED post!!!!

  16. John Impson - September 25, 2017

    You had no right to repost his post once he had taken it down. You need to apologize to him.

  17. Lorraine Tucker - September 26, 2017

    Well said David Ortman.
    It’s important to know the true colors of people. You can not take back post on social media.
    Joe’s statements are indicative of millions of closet, frightened, disenfranchised RACIST that wish for a country without people of color.
    Seems that California Striders should “take a knee”.

  18. chuckxc - September 26, 2017

    This is the problem with social media. It enables us to react quickly and blurt out stuff that we may want to take back. But you really can’t in this day and age of technology “take it back”. If I see something that pisses me off and I want to post about it, I usually hold back for an hour or so. Half of the time, I wind up taking a pass and not posting. You really do not have any “rights” regarding your social media posts and deleting one doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. When it’s out there, it’s out there. Don’t be so quick to pull the trigger next time !

  19. Susie - September 26, 2017

    Not too classy of you, Ken.

  20. Mike W - September 26, 2017

    Ken, I supported your post back in August “I stand with the alt-left: So should masters track and field community” as the undertones to that issue were too important to ignore.

    This issue though is simply a case of one group exercising their freedom of speech rights to protest and another group expressing their freedom of speech rights to challenge the protesters. I don’t believe this forum is the right place to raise this issue, there are plenty of other fora available. This site should just stick to Track and Field.

    The August post created some significant differences of opinion and if we keep poking these the tone of this site could turn from amicable to hostile.

  21. Bill Murray - September 26, 2017

    Ken, when I was new to masters track I would go to your site daily. As I learned who you were with your personal attacks on people who volunteer their time to masters track, I started to visit your site weekly. Since you continue to interject your political views on us, I may now go to your site monthly. Just as the athletes have a right to kneel during the anthem, I have the right to change the channel. Stick to track & field Ken and cut out the political BS!

  22. steven bowles - September 26, 2017

    To Joe R …..AMEN!!!!!!!!

  23. RICHARD HARMON - September 26, 2017

    Born and raised in Van Nuys, I also grew up in the San Fernando Valley (schooled in the L.A. Unified School District). And, like Joe, I also experienced the effects of illegal immigration first-hand. Rudy Martinez was my best friend in elementary school (Valerio Street). His mom and dad cleaned up stables in Chatsworth. Great people, always came around with corn fresh from the fields. My father, shot in the leg in WWII, loved to have them visit. The only guy who ever stole anything from me was Russell, a white guy one block over. Moved back to the valley as a young adult, ’80-’81. Lots of latinos and bambinos. Happy families with good work ethic. Still visit an elderly aunt on occasion in Granada Hills. Her neighborhood looks better and better, groomed yards, kept with pride. And I enjoy an evening walk in the neighborhood park while visiting.

  24. em - September 26, 2017

    When you ask a racist if they are racist, of course they say no, but they can not pretend when they speak, and they can’t see it in themselves.

    We see the same thing with Trump. From his history of being cited for housing discrimination, the pushing the birther conspiracy, central park 5, Charlottesville, his constant demonization of hispanics with Judge Curiel and the push to build the wall… Trump has been slow to disavow white supremacist support. His rallies are 99% white. Now he’s pitting the predominantly white NHL and nascar against the predominantly black NFL and NBA in his comments. He is a race baiter who uses race to divide and rally his white identity base.

    This is really small on the list of his problems though. What Trump’s ignorant shrinking hateful redneck base (like DS above) will have to soon answer: when the case comes down from the various investigations with proof of his criminality, will they side with US law enforcement, judicial findings, US intelligence agencies sworn to protect America? Or will they continue to support an incompetent pathological liar narcissist authoritarian criminal, in bed with Putin and known Russian criminals? It’s not a matter of if, but when. Trump is a racist criminal and to continue to support him after the facts are out will reveal who among us are the patriots, and who are the traitors. The day is coming.

  25. Immigrant - September 27, 2017

    This is quite an inflammatory post. Is it real? It must be, but the low-level understanding of the English language and poor grammar makes me wonder why he is entitled to vote when those who learn our language and our constitution are not. Predigest? Is that something you do before dinner? Having friends who are minorities does not give you a free pass to be a racist. That main comment that enforces that conclusion is:

    “I suspect that this was the main goal of the African American community since they were always considered a minority. In their minds they want to be the majority, but their means were defiantly misguided.”

    That is a racist conjecture. He may have scattered in some facts and data from his personal experiences, but these two sentences are as un-American and racist as anything I have recently read.

    If anyone cares about my story, I immigrated to the Midwest when I was young. When I spoke, I mixed Spanish in with my English, which made people nervous. I didn’t understand why.

    I did at some point carry a knife and wasn’t afraid to use it, but that’s only because I was trying to earn Boy Scout badges. I stopped carrying the Swiss army knife when I realized that to belong to that organization, I had to be a homophobic Christian.

    And yes, my fellow dark-skinned friends and I used food stamps, had health care through Medicaid and hence benefited from tax-payers. Some of the people I knew died due to violence or drugs, but many of us have succeeded in getting an education, raising families and contributing to society — more than paying back the benefits we had in our youths.

    Oh, and BTW, I’m white. I was born in New Mexico, which is actually a US state and not a different country. Lots of people in my small Midwestern town didn’t understand that. My skin is bronze in the summer because some small fraction of my mostly Scotch-Irish-English heritage provided some pigmentation in my skin. So I was a poor, dark-skinned kid who spoke Spanish and survived with the help of the state. Would Joe treat me differently if he knew that?

  26. E. Grant - September 28, 2017

    I,for one, am glad you posted it. He should have never wrote it if he didn’t want it to go anywhere else. A Delete isn’t always a delete on Facebook. Once it’s out there, it’s out there for all to see. I refrain from saying what I really want to say. However, I will say that his post was very disrespectful towards the African American community he claims to like..

  27. Max Speed - September 29, 2017

    Wow. I gotta wonder does this guy race with his hood on or just wear it around the house.

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