Jim Harbaugh isn’t one to sit in silence if he has something to get off his chest.
Both the football and the political worlds learned that last month through a Harbaugh tweet in response to reports of the Trump administration reportedly defunding legal aid for the underprivileged.
I hope reports that White House trying to defund Legal Services Corp aren't true. LSC is CRUCIAL to making justice system fair. #LSCmatters
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 28, 2017
Harbaugh spoke with Politico over the weekend about that tweet, saying: “I’m not saying this as a football coach, I’m saying this as an American. I’m for America first.”
Harbaugh later said he was unaware that that was a Trump slogan.
More importantly, as it relates to the issue at hand, Harbaugh is a part of the leaders council of the Legal Services Corp, saying he had been invited to a meeting in Washington D.C. and has attended the meeting each year for the past two years.
From the interview:
“I got involved two years ago. Some people say ‘Why is a football coach concerned?’ I explained I’m an American first and all Americans should care about justice. The idea, as you learn about our legal system, [is] the danger of not being able to have access to justice. From what I can see it’s that, if you have money you have access to justice. If you don’t, it’s becoming increasingly less and less access for low-income Americans and that’s the crux of it. I mean, to have a society that has liberty and justice for all, it’s right there in the constitution. And LSC is the largest funder of civil legal aid in our nation.”
Harbaugh says he has talked to former President Barack Obama since the election, albeit about Michelle Obama’s “Reach Higher” campaign, an educational task force he had served on. Harbaugh said if he had two minutes to speak with President Trump, he would repeat what he said in the tweet.
Asked if he has anything in his contract that prevents him from weighing in on political issues, Harbaugh said: “I think it’s recommended — I work at a public university — to be apolitical. As I’ve told you before, this is a bipartisan issue. It’s an American issue and I’m allowed to be an American.”
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