Daub: I did not say that the three football players should be kicked off the team

Photo by Bill Clemente
Photo by Bill Clemente

Yesterday LJS reporter Chris Dunker interviewed Nebraska Regent, and former Congressman and former Omaha Mayor, Hal Daub regarding the Husker football players kneeling during the national anthem.

Dunker quoted Daub saying, of the players who knelt:

“They know better, and they had better be kicked off the team.”

Very soon after, this quote was picked up by news and sports-news organizations across the country.

And not long after that, Daub denied THAT particular quote — but none of the other quotes.

Daub spoke with WOWT in Omaha:

Daub responded saying that he was misquoted in the article. “I did not say that the three football players should be kicked off the team, my goodness gracious,” said Daub. “How ridiculous. I wouldn’t say that. Daub also told WOWT 6 News sister station 10/11 News in Lincoln that his comments were taken out of context and that he was asking the newspaper for a retraction.

The rest of Daub’s statements haven’t received as much heat — as they aren’t all that different from what other pols have said.

(Though former University of Nebraska Omaha football Coach Sandy Buda said the players should be “benched”.)

But most of the folks who don’t like the rest of Daub’s opinion on the matter (and, no doubt other opinions) claim that Daub realized that he stepped in it and is LYING when he says he didn’t say this.

This morning, the national sports and commentary site, Deadspin, wrote:

Daub apparently called them and tried to tell them he never said a thing he clearly said.

The OWH’s Mike’l Severe Tweeted:

There is no doubt he said it. I trust the LJS printed what he said.

Well, except that at this point, there is no audio evidence that Chris Dunker did accurately report this quote. Personally, my eyebrows went up on the formation of the quote itself. “They had better be…” didn’t sound like a normal phrase.

I went back and forth with Severe this morning on his point on the Twitter. On the above point by me, Severe tweeted back, “Not if you have spent anytime talking with Hal.

Funnily enough I have already met that challenge with Daub — multiplied by probably 100x the hours Severe has spent with him. (This happens when you drive a candidate around and around and around the state.)

And then there was the fact that Chris Dunker also got another point wrong in the original article about Daub — noting that he was a Korean War vet, instead of accurately that he was a Vietnam Era vet, serving in Korea. (Original versions of the story are no longer linked on LJS site.)

Which isn’t to say that everything Dunker wrote is wrong just because he had one mistake. But it simply means that when you are on a cell phone (likely) with Hal Daub, who speaks a million miles an hour, about lots of different ideas, while you’re trying to write, while trying to listen, while trying to comprehend an idea, while trying to come up with your next question — without, presumable, audio backup — it is not unheard of to write down something incorrectly.

And where people like Severe and other suggest that this is the KEY quote of the whole story, one would have hoped that the reporter would have rounded back and confirmed what he said.

Now this isn’t to say that Daub couldn’t have said this. And it is also possible that Dunker is correct and Daub is mis-remembering what he said. That is certainly possible.

But not only did Daub deny saying it — he said that it is ridiculous that he WOULD say it.

And the suggestion that the reporter couldn’t have made a mistake is silly.


Root beer summit

In the mean time, Governor Pete Ricketts, who called the actions by the players “disgraceful and disrespectful” has agreed to meet with Husker player Michael Rose-Ivey to…further discuss the matter? Design an alternate protest? Come up with legislation?

Look, hopefully it’s the latter. Because otherwise, where is all of this going? Maybe it’s just understanding that blacks and other minorities in America feel threatened — and rich whitey in the Governor’s mansion needs to get a better feel for that. OK.

But that doesn’t seem to be the gist of what the protest is about. It has been about police shootings of blacks. Not, apparently about police shootings of non-blacks, or of non-police shootings of any race upon any  race.

So again, one would hope that the goal is more than simply “look at me!” Because when the Kardashians refuse to stand for the National Anthem you’ll realize that, without a specific plan, the effort has gone nowhere.


Air war in #NE02

Onto “regular” politics… the 2nd Congressional District House race is firing along.

The NRCC has a new ad out hammering Democrat Brad Ashford on his votes in the House of Representatives on releasing prisoners from Gitmo. See it here:

Ashford now says that he is against closing Gitmo — like President Obama has promised for years — but that those previous votes were different…for some reason.

In the mean time, the DCCC has their own ads out attacking Republican candidate retired Brigadier General Don Bacon on Social Security. (While the NRCC puts their ads up on YouTube, the DCCC not so much.) Here’s a capture:

The Bacon campaign fired back on this one.

Don Bacon does not support altering or reducing Social Security for those who are currently in or near retirement. But he is of the opinion that we should consider the possibility of adjusting current long-term policies to ensure the viability of Social Security for future generations.

And on Ashford’s support for the ObamaCare policies:

20,000+ people are losing their health insurance after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska announced last week their decision to leave the individual insurance marketplace. The departure of Blue Cross is further evidence that Obamacare is a failure and can’t be fixed – a law Brad Ashford has voted in favor of keeping.

The Battle for the 2nd should only get more intense.


Omaha Trump HQ

With Donald Trump buzzing into Council Bluffs for a visit, no doubt he will give a shout-out to the Nebraskans in the crowd as HE puts some effort into the fight for the 2nd District Electoral vote.

Leavenworth St. has learned that Trump will be opening an office in Omaha this week, with an open house on Sunday from 1-3pm. The office will be located at 78th and Davenport — just off Dodge, near the old site of the New Tower (which was neither).


Pete & Donald: “Pretty close”

And on that note, Politico reports that not only has Ricketts family patriarch Joe Ricketts thrown his support behind Donald Trump, but (some of) the rest of the family is joining. Todd Ricketts — head of the Ricketts owned Chicago Cubs — is heading up a couple of PACs to garner donations from those zillionaires…who don’t necessarily want to be ID’d as supporting Trump.

And then there were a few other interesting lines in the Politico piece:

But a GOP operative who is familiar with the Ricketts’ efforts characterized their new effort as “all about power.”

The family — and (adviser Brian) Baker — “want to be the main players in Republican big money, and they see that Trump has a chance to win, so they want to be able to take credit if he does,” said the operative.

And then there’s THIS one:

And Pete Ricketts has been in touch with Trump since then, according to a source close to Trump, who said “Pete and Trump are pretty close.”

Well, THERE’s a description that would have been shocking just a few months ago.

Enjoy your political season.



Be sure to read this morning’s post from contributing writer, “Ofc David Kindly” (not his real name), a veteran law enforcement officer in the Omaha Metropolitan area.

Keep up with this and ALL your political news by following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Liking Leavenworth St. on The Facebook.

Because there’s no better way to stay up to date on the talk of Nebraska politics!


  1. Ian Swanson's Buddy says:

    Ian, if you get elected Senator is Ricketts gonna let us set up beer pong at his tailgates at the Governor’s mansion? You are the freaking KING of beer pong! Remember that night at Lamda Chi last year when we played for 18 hours straight? Wait…you probably don’t remember!!

  2. White, Christian, Conservative, Taxpayer says:

    Very few if any of these race-disparity perceptions and issues in America will be healed; these things I’m afraid, will likely only worsen from here. We are now collectively reaping the harvest from decades of Secular Humanists making all the rules.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not for lack of people like MLK trying to warn us of our clear & present danger. As a Christian I am sure you are intimately familiar with King’s “Letter from [a] Birmingham Jail,” if only for King’s artful and accurate application of Scripture to our present woes. We are collectively reaping the harvest from decades of ignorance of King’s prophetic words.

      • bynd says:

        Numerous outreach by white churches to North Omaha have historically been rebuffed. As they believe whites don’t understand and they will take care of their own problems. Just a couple of examples, Bridge church just across from Salem never spoke to each other. When Iron Sharpens Iron men’s conference first came to town, Bishop Darlington was scheduled as the main speaker. The hope being that more residents from North Omaha would attend. There were several black females who requested to attend, females at a men’s conference? They were brought in under the cover of darkness. But once again, Salem scheduled their own conference on the same date. When the old Trinity declared North O to be one of their ministry areas, they were told to leave and did. Some ministries do well up there regardless of color but they have learned to do their own thing and not worry about the local church’s issues.

      • Anonymous says:

        Us. Them. Us & Them.

        It is past time to widen the circle of Us until there is no Them, e.g. having the patience, even if it takes 100 years, to LISTEN to men of color without judgement. That is all that is required in a first step. Let’s be taught and led by our brothers in Christ – let’s be their servants.

      • White, Christian, Conservative, Taxpayer says:

        Read it for the first time today. I found it to be quite amazing, eye-opening, and yes — prophetic.

    • Sparkles says:

      decades of Secular Humanists making all the rules.

      The conversation has only just begun, White, Christian, Conservative.
      Upon leaving office our current President has assured us he will make certain this very real subject remains front and center in America’s collective conversation.
      Obama’s has given notice that there’s no chance he’ll quietly fade into history . And America will be a better because nation because of it.

      I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: “My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest.” They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience’ sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage

      • White, Christian, Conservative, Taxpayer says:

        To somehow compare Obama to MLK shows your absolute ignorance of reality and History…these fella’s aren’t even in the same Universe as it relates to intelligence and character…not even close. Obama hasn’t even a glimmer of those positive attributes which made MLK the man the was.

      • Sparkles says:


        #1 – I never compared Obama to MLK.
        For one thing, comparing a religious leader with a political leader is tricky. For another, MLK’s infidelity makes it a difficult comparison.

        #2 – Historians will, in time, place Obama comfortably among the top 10 Presidents in American history. A rare, scandal free presidency. A man of superior intelligence and impeccable integrity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gerard, there are a million reasons to damn MLK, but “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is not one of them. He didn’t plagiarize it, did he? The letter was smuggled out of jail one scrap of paper at a time. Why don’t you read the “Letter” and offer a few thoughts of your own? Besides, parroting J. Edgar Hoover’s scorched earth campaign against King is beneath you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.

        So, name one person who hasn’t made a mistake.

        Obama will be known as the most divisive president in history who had the power to help his people and squandered it.

      • Sparkles says:

        Obama will be known as the most divisive president

        The evidence is overwhelming that it is not Obama who fostered and fueled the divisiveness – it was the unprecedented scorched earth obstructionism of his miscreant opposition. A tea addled GOP that now finds itself in shambles.

        It is accurate to say to that Obama didn’t engage in the smarmy, quid pro quo. ‘old boy’ tactics that have for so long dominated the legislative process.
        Obama assumed, wrongly, that the duty of a President is to assemble teams of the most intelligent people you can find to craft the most efficacious policies possible and honest actors would then move legislation forward to the benefit of their constituents and the nation.
        Ha. Ha, ha, ha.
        To the dismay of his own party’s constituents, Obama spent years pushing good policy and honest effort into the black hole of a reprobate congress. A congress intent on obstruction because it was obstruction that brought them job security among their malinformed base.

      • bynd says:

        Sparkles, Obama never admitted when the civilian was wrong, Ferguson being the glaring example.

        It was always the fault of the police, black or white they were racists. You are as blind as the rest. Both sides that would be.

        What did Obama do to bring us together? Go have a beer in New England?

        No, he sat on his throne and made judgements before the facts were in and the same thing came out of his mouth every time. It isn’t our fault, it is everybody else’s. Hardly the demeanor or candor of a top ten leader or Pres.

        To use your own analogy, he is no different than Hitler who blamed the Jews. Ohh, Goodwin strikes again with the truth this time?

    • repenting lawyer says:

      White, what is a white Christian and how does he differ from other Christian? To emphasize your race is to deny the universality of the Atonement.

  3. Sweeper = Daub Appologists says:

    Really, Sweeper? Are you really defending Daub on this? He said three different ways in the Journal Star that they should be kicked off the team. Maybe Dunker got one quote wrong, but what about the other two:

    “It’s a free country,” Daub told the Journal Star on Tuesday. “They don’t have to play football for the university either.”

    “They know better, and they had better be kicked off the team.”

    “They won’t take the risk to exhibit their free speech in a way that places their circumstance in jeopardy, so let them get out of uniform and do their protesting on somebody else’s nickel.”

    So is Daub’s claim that Dunker just made up all three of these quotes? Give me a break.

    Daub is now an embarrassment to the University and to Nebraska.

    • Randall says:

      The line “so let them get out of uniform and do their protesting on somebody else’s nickel” is especially ironic and disturbing, because it shows what little respect Daub has for these players who put in endless hours of work and risk their physical well-being and make so much money for this university.

  4. Randall says:

    “Funnily enough I have already met that challenge with Daub — multiplied by probably 100x the hours Severe has spent with him. (This happens when you drive a candidate around and around and around the state.)”

    You know what else would probably happen after spending all that time with Hal Daub? Perhaps reaching to make excuses for him after he majorly screws up?

    If Hal Daub didn’t say what was reported, and Chris Dunker “made a mistake” and “[wrote] something down incorrectly,” then what did Hal Daub actually say? “They know better, and they had better be kicked off the team” is a full sentence, not a word or a short phrase. If Hal Daub’s only response is that it would be ridiculous for him to say this (which is true, but doesn’t mean that he didn’t say it), then, in my view, he doesn’t really deserve the benefit of the doubt. Especially when that sentence seems to mesh just fine with the rest of his message, but clearly stepped over the line of simply being disappointed in their method of protest.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nobody is making Daub speak, he is choosing to emit words from his cake hole. He has the full right to speak and implicitly accepts fully responsibility for that act and its consequences.

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Bynd, you are right about growing old and Hal sometimes talks before he thinks, but when will I get break, Hal and I are contemporaries.

  5. Reporters lie says:

    And this one has lied in articles before, completely fabricating outlandish quotes when interviewing conservatives. I’m not surprised at all.

      • Reporters lie says:

        Funny you mention documentation…the LJS fixed the story online, deleted the original and never issued a retraction. But I guess I can leave work early to search for evidence that an incredibly liberal newspaper puts words in the mouths of conservatives to make them look foolish.

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