I wanted to take the time to address some of the things going on in my beloved NFL. So many people have weighed in on this issue, from politicians, to sports figures, to coaches, and of course, fans. I’ve heard hundreds of opinions, all across news sources and I have to laugh. Everyone is pretty much missing the points of what is actually occurring.
First up, kneeling during the National Anthem is indeed, disrespecting the flag, our country, and the ideals it was built on. That’s why Colin Kaepernick chose it as a form of protest. It got noticed. Smart move on his part.
Now, Mr. Kaepernick is out of a job and he is saying, along with many others, that it’s because of what he started and the color of his skin. Neither is correct. Mr. Kaepernick doesn’t currently have a job, because he can no longer effectively play his position at the level required to win games.
Running quarterbacks in the NFL are a devil to plan for and those that can run, plus pick apart defenses from the pocket are the rarest of diamonds to have as the point to build your team around. Mr. Kaepernick has high athleticism, but cannot seem to operate from the pocket effectively as a Tom Brady, or an Aaron Rodgers. Team management felt their team was better served by a different direction at QB. Kaepernick was fired. The NFL is a business.
Keeping with that thought, Kaepernick’s decision to kneel and the fallout from it can be easily fixed by the NFL itself, but Roger Goodell has always shown a certain level of indecision that is problematic.
For example, I work at a company that does not allow me to wear jeans at work. If I wish to remain employed at the company, I don’t wear jeans to work. It’s called a dress code and my wardrobe at work acts as a uniform when working for my employer. Management also has behavior directives. If I cross the line in behavior, they have the right to fire me.
Roger Goodell simply needs to bring forth the NFL dress and behavior requirements and either enforce them, or amend them to cover the recent incidents. If he determines that players must stand, they must stand while wearing the uniform of their employers and participating in employment activities for them. If Goodell determines that players may kneel, then nothing changes and Goodell will have to live with the ridicule that will come his way. Or, The Commish can decide to send that directive to the individual teams.
Unfortunately, Goodell has chosen to do nothing, showing once again, the face of NFL management is spineless and afraid of his players.
The NFL is not the only ones in the ring though. Coach Pop and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs threw their collectively political opinions out recently. Pop says he sees race baiting…good call Pop, now we know what you’re best at, coaching. Manu says he learned in Argentina that Americans have freedom of speech and can say anything they want to.
Beautiful sentiment, but wrong. You see Manu, when you put on that uniform, by the contract you signed to play in the NBA, you will be held accountable for your actions and dress during your employment. Just like any other company. David Stern should take a look at the NBA charter too, make sure kneeling, or not, is addressed.
Getting back to Kaepernick. I applaud your decision to protest a problem you believe needs to be dealt with, in the finest traditions of American policies as laid down in the Constitution. Just don’t do it at work, unless you are following your employer’s directives. Oh, and work on your pocket passing accuracy, and maybe you can find employment again.
President Trump came out and made comments about the NFL and I want to go on record as saying that was a pretty stupid thing to do. However, if you think about it, his job description is the Constitution and there is no dress code or behavior requirements other than the Bill of Rights, so he, in effect has freedom of speech while applying the duties of his office, unlike most people, that must follow stricter guidelines within the workplace.
It needs to be said though. This whole kerfuffle has absolutely nothing to do with race, and the media pushing the narrative that this issue is ALL about race is incorrect. If journalists reported the facts and left the opinions to their viewers, this incident would be minor, at best.
I had sixteen Fantasy Football teams last year, winning more than half of the leagues I was in and Colin Kaepernick was not on my teams, anywhere. Was it because of his skin color? Was it because of his protesting? No. It’s because he’s terrible at the position of Quarterback and doesn’t generate enough usable work for me to accomplish winning in the leagues. No performance, no job slot.
So, in closing…
Mr Goodell, you can fix this easily. Once again, a giant flap in the sports world can be solved by you, but I surmise, like Kaepernick, you’re extremely ineffective in your position on the offense. I suspect you will continue to be spineless and not be decisive. Your track record is rather abysmal, not unlike Mr. Kaepernick’s stats in his last years of employment.