Few poker players try to keep politics and poker separate. None less so than Daniel Negreanu. Anyone who follows his public profile can more or less run through his stance on everything. From his wildly optimistic flirtation with Geoff Yang for president to his controversial views on women’s sports.
As the announcement that Chauvin was guilty came down, Negreanu took to Twitter to let us know what he thought.
“I have many twisted and sadistic things I’d like to share right now about today’s verdict,” he wrote. “But let’s just leave it with: this is good news. I’m sure he will be welcomed with open arms and knees.”
The reference here is to Chauvin’s M.O. He murdered George Floyd with a knee to his neck.
Playing on one of Negreanu’s more controversial moments, Negreanu’s newest best friend Doug Polk added, “It makes you wonder where his teeth are gonna get fed to him.”
Polk had his own take on the whole affair, “Can someone please explain to me the Derek Chauvin Stans? Of all the spots to Stan out this one just seems like one of the weirdest.”
To someone who responded “Trial by mob,” Doug countered: “Trial by video of you f**king killing someone.”
Matt Glantz begged Twitter to give Trump back his account just for one day. Trump, an ex-reality TV star, can usually be relied on for the kind of dog whistle that, ironically, Glantz himself likes to blow.
Black lives matter
The bigger names in the poker world seem for once, to be largely on the same side. Most of them have sided with the jury in this case. It’s a healing moment then, in more than one way.
As Derek Chauvin left the courthouse, America breathed a small sigh of relief. It was a moment of mass catharsis. Only partial, of course. The trial did nothing to change police procedures or to increase the accountability of the people to whom society grants enormous powers.
Chauvin was a drop in the ocean. The police have killed 64 people since his trial began. By definition, the victims in these murders were innocent, since they had not faced a jury of their peers. Most of the killers will not face a trial. No jury will decide whether the death they caused was self-defense, manslaughter, or murder. In the U.S., police officers, like soldiers in a combat zone, are still largely above the law in this regard.
The controversy around Chauvin’s trial seems to have mutated into a discussion about whether a police officer can commit murder on the job at all. Some feel that police should feel comfortable taking a life. It makes them safer. The other side feels that a person whom the nation hires to protect and serve the public ought to weigh that public’s life with greater care. They should be held to a higher standard — or at least to a similar standard — to that public.
Whichever side wins out, the poker world seems to have chosen one. At least until the next controversy.
Featured image source: Flickr