Editorial cartoons from October 17, 2021: Jon Gruden fall, inflation rise, Shatner’s space flight

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Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden was fired after racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails surfaced in a collateral NFL investigation into the Washington football team. Gruden’s attitudes, freely expressed to other league leaders, raised questions about the NFL’s commitment to equality and fair treatment sporting helmets and end zones after the 2020 racial justice protests. Seventy percent of professional football players are black.

Editorial cartoonists poked fun at President Joe Biden’s lower approval ratings as the country’s inflation rate rose. Bill Bramhall of the New York Daily News described inflation as the eerily menacing man of Sta-Puft Marshmallow of “Ghostbusters” fame.

William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” television series, flew into low Earth orbit aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft. Shatner, 90, became the oldest person to fly in space. After landing, he was greeted by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and director of Blue Origin.

Other hot topics covered in this week’s cartoons include the worsening labor shortage; supply chain issues hamper Halloween; the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to persecuted journalists from the Philippines and Russia; the gerrymandering of electoral districts; and the problems of Facebook following the revelations of a whistleblower on the misdeeds of the social network towards children.

The cartoons were drawn by Nick Anderson, Bill Bramhall, Drew Sheneman, Scott Stantis, Walt Handelsman, David Horsey, Phil Hands, Joel Pett and Joey Weatherford of Tribune Content Agency; and AF Branco, Mike Luckovich and Michael Ramirez of Creators Syndicate.

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