PA GOP Responds to Woodruff Statements on NFL Protests

Woodruff DiGiorgioRepublican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Val DiGiorgio entered the discussion of NFL player protesting during the national anthem by responding to Democratic Supreme Court candidate Judge Dwayne Woodruff’s comments on the issue.  

“Pennsylvania has more veterans than any state in the nation. Our citizens respect and honor our flag and those who have died fighting for its ideals. It’s terribly disappointing to see that Judge Woodruff, who would like to be a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice, has thrown in with those who disrespect our flag,” DiGiorgio said in a statement.  

Woodruff has responded to Trump’s comments saying they “only serve to push our country to become more divided and ultimately penalizes our first amendment rights under the Constitution.”

“Our Commonwealth deserves Supreme Court Justices committed to protecting our Constitution and the principles upon which our nation was founded. Pennsylvanians are outraged by privileged millionaires who take a knee while our national anthem is playing. Clearly, Judge Woodruff does not share our values,” DiGiorgio said.  

DiGiorgio’s comments follow a weekend of protests by NFL players during the national anthem, including the Steelers, Woodruff’s former team, not going onto the field until after the national anthem.

September 26th, 2017 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Judicial | 57 Comments

57 thoughts on “PA GOP Responds to Woodruff Statements on NFL Protests”

  1. Anthony Balsano says:

    Mr Digiorgio: racism is not patriotism, a Vietnam vet

  2. Jim Parson says:

    Judge Woodruff has shown in the past that he doesn’t really care about law. He goes more by personal beliefs. He also loves to play the race card.

  3. Observant says:

    Val…a stupid fight to pick. Defending Trump is just indefensible. There was such hope for you to help rehabilitate the PAGOP image…but we see that’s hopeless. A shame. And attacking Judge Woodruff is just petty.

  4. Steve says:

    If Judge Woodruff believes these flag protests are protected free speech under the Constitution, he is not qualified to be a a Supreme Court Justice. These players are in the work place when they enter that field and the NFL has every right to say what they can and can not do…just like celebrating a touchdown. I’m more troubled that he doesn’t know how to apply the law.

    1. Chase says:

      The NFL, uses these players to build their industry’s image on and off the field. The NFL celebrates non football related issues on the field all the time. The President said the owners should fire the players because of their manner of protest. The players protest did not meet The President’s taste. The owners support their players. The President, as government took issue with private business by calling for a boycott and called the protesters names. What The President said violated the 1st Amendment. He has chilled The owner’s free speech. The Judge commented on the President’s words specifically. The Judge didn’t tell the owners what to do. Your Government did through the Office of the U.S. President no less! That should scare you! He used that power of the office to start a conflict that was at a slow simmer just to rally his base with race baiting. Anyone can change the facts and a new legal situation would appear. Leave the Judge alone. His words were legally accurate. Stop reading scenarios not in play into the law to support your political agenda.

      1. Christine Flowers says:

        “Chilling” speech by opinion? Find that in constitutional precedrnt as a violation of the First Amendment. The President was wrong, perhaps, to make those inartful comments. But he did nothing illegal.

        1. Carmen says:

          The word Chilling means potentially stopping people who might lawfully protest because they fear some type of retaliation. As President his words have power beyond mere opinion.

    2. Homer says:

      This is why lawyers go to school instead of getting online degrees.

      Quiz for you… where’s this from? “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.”

      1. Christine Flowers says:

        “Congress” shall make no law. Not “president shall express no opinion.” Pretty clear.

        1. Carmen says:

          The President’s call for the players to be fired is an abuse of his position. He speaks for The Government. He is no longer a private figure. His words have powerful consequences. He should never have weighed in on private business matters. Owners can run their business however they see fit. Trump struggled to call out the men who carried tikki torches and said some of them were fine people but he called out the players for taking a knee son’s of b******? Why are you straining to not find fault with the President’s overstated outrage. Disingenuous!

  5. WOODRUFF 2017 says:

    I consider Republican chairman, Val DiGiorgio’s statements, posted on the Politics PA website, to be a personal attack on my character and my family; particularly on my late father, John Bryant Woodruff, who served in the U.S. Army for 27 years and fought for our country in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars and also an attack on my son, Captain John Bryant Woodruff II, who now serves our country in the U. S. Marine Corps. I have unwavering respect for this country, its citizens and the flag, which is backed up by my continued and sacrificial service to my fellow citizens.
     
    I grew up as an “Army Brat”. While many teens were out enjoying their lives, my mom and I sat everyday by the television watching news of the war and praying that Dad would come home. When he did come home, we knew we were blessed because he served with so many soldiers who didn’t make it home alive. However, my dad never walked again and lived the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair. My mom died caring for him and then I moved my dad to Pittsburgh to live with my family and me for the final 9 years of his life. During that time, Art Rooney Sr. allowed Dad to park his wheelchair in the press box for whatever Steelers games that Dad attended. Let it be known that when the trumpet sounded that solemn “Taps” tune, and the flag was lowered, folded and placed in my son’s arms, the soldier looked him in the eyes, as my son does now when he performs funerals for fallen Marines.
     
    To me the flag represents all that my father fought for, and what my son now serves for and what I reverently stand for.
     
    I want Mr. DiGiorgio to know that my commitment to justice, defending the rights of all citizens as granted by our constitution and overall respect and love for our country should never be questioned or attacked. I would hope he possesses the type of character to apologize for such a personal attack and false insinuation concerning my character as a father, son, husband, judge and an American citizen.

    Judge Dwayne Woodruff,
    2017 Candidate for Pennsylvania Supreme Court

    1. Chase says:

      Val Digiorgio was not defending the flag or anthem, but using the lie of disrespect of Patriotism to politically attack the Judge. The Judge only commented on the divisive statements the President made and the right to peacefully protest. He didn’t opine on respect or disrespect of our symbols but what the symbols actually represents under the law. Please everyone, note that the flag stands for this type of protest whether popular or not. Soldiers know this as well as a legal scholar like the Judge. The President should know it as well but he insists on saying negatively charged words. Chairman, be a solid man and apologize for the political back job you tried to sell.

        1. Peggy says:

          Judge Woodruff you have my vote and thank you for responding to Mr. Digiorgio. Both my husband and brother served in Viet Nam – it was a nasty war that we should have been involved with. Today, my brother suffers from the after effects of Agent Orange. Both of them agree with you Judge and will also vote for you. The protest on Sunday was not about patriotism, it was about the social injustice we have in this country. Unless you are a minority, no one knows the struggles they encounter everyday. The real shame is we have a President who instigates the protests and has moved civil rights back to the 1960’s. We are the United States, we should be better then that! Blessings to you and your family Judge Woodruff!

    2. Gavin Floyd says:

      Who the heck is running the Woodruff campaign?! Posting a response in the comments section of PoliticsPA? Yikes. Campaign 101 mistake. Also, if you have to defend/ tout your patriotism after a tactical error in judgement (no pun intended) then maybe your patriotism should be questioned, Judge Woodruff.

    3. Mark says:

      I really hope this is someone pretending to be Woodruff… If not, you have just reached Bobby Lawrence levels of insane stupidity. At least pull a Justin Simmons or Paul Mango and comment under a fake name!

    4. Douglas Shields says:

      Mr. Woodruff, and his wife Joy, and I have been friends of mine for at least 30 years. They are among the most honorable and caring people I have come to know.

      Sadly, The Republican Chair of the PA Republican Party, by his personal and misplaced attacks on Mr. Woodruff’s character, indicates to me that he lacks any honor at all. Just another political operative denigrating our political process and dragging all that is good into the mud.

      An apology to the entire Woodruff family is in order Mr. DiGiorgio. An apology to the electorate is also in order for turning our electoral process into a pig sty that you would happily wallow in.

  6. The Skeptic says:

    Val DiGiorgio looks like the senator in a Batman movie who has been secretly working with the villain the entire time.

  7. Just Me says:

    From a current member of our armed forces:
    The oath I took said I would support and defend the Constitution. Not a word in there about the flag or the national anthem. The POTUS might know this if he hadn’t taken those five deferments but you know – bone spurs.

    The original protest was to shed light on the fact that unarmed men, women, and children of color are being shot without consequence. Instead of working to solve injustice and inequality, conservatives tried to change the narrative to make it about the military and patriotism. Not true. In fact, Kaepernick took a knee on the advice of an army ranger, who told him that kneeling would be more respectful than sitting on the bench during the anthem.
    Free speech and peaceful protest are rights guaranteed by the first amendment. Judge Woodruff’s words eloquently and accurately reflect his knowledge of the law and the right to free speech. I support him, and thank his family for their military service.

    1. Christine Flowers says:

      “Being shot without consequence.” Really? Are all the juries and judges who complied with their oaths to uphold the constitution racist because they did not convict police officers, despite a public that demanded those convictions? Please.

  8. #CapitalismAtWork says:

    I think the saddest part of the NFL’s protest is as follows, the people protesting are millionaires without a doubt. They didn’t likely start out that way in fact they likely came from meager backgrounds and used their god given talent to excel at their sport. They turned that talent into a career that paid well. All of that means they have lived the American dream in great abundance, they prove that if you hard work enough you can succeed and be wildly successful, like no other nation in this world!

    1. jay says:

      and your reply has what to do with their protest? Nothing. So only people who do not make a good living should protest?

      1. Richard says:

        I took the comment to mean that it was deceptive and stupid to call the players “privileged millionaires” when that is NOT how they started. Further, where the GOP likes to call itself the party for people that “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”, it’s disingenuous and transparent to now denigrate such success in the name of partisanship

  9. Porter Randolph says:

    Val, please take your songs and flags and loyalty oaths and shove them up your ass. Siding with peaceful protesters IS defending the Constitution you ignorant troglodyte. You are EVERYTHING that is wrong with politics in general and Republicans in particular. Do us all a favor take a hike.

    1. Dan F says:

      You are a typical liberal. I can tell you never served, and have no idea what duty, honor and country means As my dad would have said, you can take a 10 foot pole and shove it up your ass.

      1. Porter Randolph says:

        You don’t know the first thing about me you typical fascist.Take your so called honor and shove it up your dad’s ass.

      2. New_Liberal_Lion says:

        Jesus was a Black Socialist Liberal. Take THAT and shove it up your ass SIDEWAYS!

      3. dominick gambino says:

        Dan F…perhaps you do not know that Judge Woodruff’s father was a military father and that the Judge’s son is a Captain in the Marine Corps as well as a lawyer…so shove that up your behind…and what type of Family did he and his wife raise? Eldest daughter is a doctor practicing in Alaska and his younger daughter a lawyer…I would say that is pretty impressive and would be close to the ideal for any AMERICAN family wouldn’t you?

      4. jay says:

        5xdraft dodger coward trump shirked his duty when the country called. Instead he let someone else go to war in his place and die or have life irreparably changed.
        Guess that makes Trump a “typical liberal”
        If you believe no one has right to protest then you have never read or bothered to learn the first amendment or how this country came about

    2. George F. says:

      Rudolph,
      Why do you sound so angry? Val is just defending our nations flag and anthem. Showing respect to the flag and anthem means showing respect to all those who sacrificed in order for us all to be here today. I don’t care if you are black, white, blue, green, or orange, individuals of all nationalities have paved the way through blood sweat and tears to enjoy the privileges we have today. Our flag is in rememberence of their struggles and hardships. You aren’t disrespecting a piece of cloth or a song, you are disrepecting these individuals sacrifice.

      1. Porter Randolph says:

        But many veterans, including my uncle who served in Vietnam, don’t agree that it is disrespect to peacefully protest. You and Val and everyone need to stop pretending you speak for all of them. You don’t, many support the right to peaceful protest and feel that is precisely what their sacrifice was about.

      2. Victoria says:

        I thought we pledged allegiance to the flag and to the republic. When did it symbolize just veterans?

      3. The Answer Desk says:

        Except that Woodruff said nothing about the anthem. Val, as usual, is spouting talking points that are not even on topic.

      4. Douglas Shields says:

        Let’s face it, Val isn’t doing anything except cloaking himself in the flag to gain political points while casting aspersions on an honorable person. That, in my book, is about as low as it gets in the political world.

        It also indicates to me that he cares not a wit about our Constitution or the freedoms we, the people, cherish in this country.

        Considering the number of measures his party has recently enacted that were found to be un-constitutional [Pa DOMA, Voter ID, Act 13’s “use by right in all zoning districts” & physicians gag rule for frackers, PA casino law, IRE provisions of the PA Workers’ Compensation statute.. and more], it only serves to affirm my opinion that he and his political party has abandoned of any pretext of respect for the Constitution, and the people of this Commonwealth.

        All he seeks is abusive and coercive power. How un-American is that?

        Add to this, his Republican party owns, and cannot resolve, a long-standing structural budget deficit, now $2.2having B, and a $70B+ unfunded pension liability despite significant majorities in both the House (1995-06 & 2011-17) and Senate (1994-2017).

        How about an apology for that too?

  10. Isaac L. says:

    Hiding behind veterans – many of whom support these protests – to try to deflect from the Republican President calling a bunch of black men’s mothers b*tch*s and advocating they be fired for exercising their First Amendment rights is shameful and disgusting, regardless of your party affiliation. This just a month after the Republican President said there were “very fine people” at a rally organized by noted white nationalist Jason Kessler for white nationalists, it’s no wonder a majority of Americans believes he’s racist. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck….

    1. George F. says:

      Why are you talking about ducks?

  11. gulag Pittsburgh says:

    Hey, GOP Val, when are you going to find fault with the local fire chief who called Steeler Coach Tomlin a N—–?

  12. gulag Pittsburgh says:

    Where did this BS line come from about disrespecting the flag if you don’t stand during a particular song? The flag is not the song. It does not fly only during the singing. And where does this bring in the military? Are we a military republic now? What about all the civilians? Don’t civilians count anymore?

  13. Carmen says:

    Shame on repulican Chairman Val Digiorgio for picking a fight with Judge Dwayne Woodruff’s balanced remarks. It is telling that you chose to make up an issue with the Judge’s statement rather than call out the vulgarity, tone deafness and immaturity of Donald Trump. The President was pandering to his base with issues that more than suggest race baiting. Why are you so willing to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt when he called the protesters Son’s of B******. Further, the head of our government,more than called for the protesters to be fired. Please re-read the First Amendment and attempt to understand what the Judge so eloquently said. Read the Judge’s bio, he was an Army Brat and his son is U.S. Marine. The Judge only stated his support for the law and spoke about the chilling effects of the President’s divisive statements. Our President has now numerous times made deplorable statements infused with bigotry. Respond to his serious deficiencies before you strain yourself to find fault in the Judge’s words.

    1. Carmen says:

      Finally,this is a Human Rights issue and not Republican or Democratic politics. Let’s try
      to hear each other and empathize with the experiences of the disenfranchised. We are Americans and this is the greatest nation in the world. That flag is a symbol of the home of the free. The fact that some are still left out is a problem for all good Americans. The spirit reflected in our patriotic symbols leaves room for peaceful protest. Val Digiorgio, do you just generically stand for our patriotic symbols or will you equally and passionately work to gain justice for all? Wait for your response.

  14. #press-on says:

    When they go low we go HIGH (former FLOTUS)! Press on!

  15. Bugg says:

    When will Good Ole Boy Val make a statement on Senator Mike Regan’s misuse of taxpayer resources? [Redacted for violation of comment policy].

  16. The Jerk Store says:

    Is it true that Marcel Groan and his #great8 are joining the Hillary book tour in PA this month.

  17. #press-on says:

    I am in agreement with Judge Woodruff, “We must continue to be a country united in justice and equality for all.” The flag should represent all Americans and not just a few. The president continues to make statements that divide the country. Let’s turn the negative into a positive!

  18. John says:

    By “privileged millionaires’ he must have meant the extremist president and his lily-white Cabinet. Otherwise, it would seem like he believes that black athletes didn’t earn their money as well as white/Orange sociailite heirs. Shame on the running joke that is PAGOP.

  19. Deaf Dems says:

    Ha — Looks like the Dems are doubling down on 2016…good news for the GOP.

  20. Ryan says:

    I just wish people really knew what the First Amendment was, a protection of your right to free expression from government persecution. Nowhere did he say the government should coerce anyone. He said one set of private individuals should consider responding to the actions of other private individuals. Nowhere did Trump advocate criminalizing their conduct. Woodruff wants to be a State Supreme Court justice and should understand that distinction.

    1. The Answer Desk says:

      He understands the distinction perfectly. He was just saying that Trumpeter’s comments were divisive.

    2. Christine Flowers says:

      Bravo. The First Amendment is irrelevant here. High school seniors in civics classes get that.

  21. Gavin Floyd says:

    GOP Chairman is spot-on! STAND FOR THE FLAG

    1. gulag Pittsburgh says:

      Since the flag flies throughout the game, you can stand for it anytime, right? So why does it have to be only during a particularly bad song?

  22. honest conservative says:

    And you sir support a man who as a candidate for president disrespected a former POW and a gold star family. What kind of person are YOU Val to put politics above BASIC human dignity and compassion?? Grow up creep! Just curious, did Donald Drumpf apologize for those examples of disrespect?? Val is the slime us regular people are tired of having represent us. Thanks PA GOP for saddling us with this creep.

    1. gulag Pittsburgh says:

      Thank you for expressing the truth so many of us feel.

    2. jim says:

      My thoughts exactly. All these arm chair patriots are hypocrites.

  23. #TakeAKnee says:

    Woodruff is amazing and was so clearly upholding the first amendment, unlike the fascist president. Why are you angry about black people taking advantage of their first amendment-protected right to protest instead of the police brutality and institutional racism that they’re *actually* protesting? Republicans just really hate it when black people talk.

  24. Lol says:

    Lol “privileged millionaires.” Sorry you hate capitalism my dude

    1. The Answer Desk says:

      LOL

Comments are closed.