NFL takes a knee in a way they never considered

American Flag
American Flag

The latest theme: “Take a knee.” The NFL may highly regret ever hearing that term.

Colin Kaepernick stood out in college football enough to get to the pros and was hot for a bit, but it was a level of playing he could not sustain. Although the San Francisco ‘49ers had inked a “record” 7-year contract in 2014 for $126 million, there were enough contractual backstops that led the way to Kaepernick never realizing the full dollars.

His yearly salary of $645,000 alone (as a new hire) makes the average Joe and Jane shake their heads. Then there was the $12.5 million signing bonus.

Between the contract provisions and a declining performance after three seasons, most likely Kaepernick knew the writing was on the wall. Undoubtedly and inherently the contract is wordy and of course sated with numbers but in the end Kaepernick received $39.4 million.

That’s mammoth pay for failure.

Kaepernick opted out of the contract to be a free agent and no one picked him up. Perhaps arguably, this scenario has the strong appearance of an angry young man.

Accompanying Kaepernick’s far less than stellar performance on the field was his decision to kneel rather than stand for the national anthem and thus, the American flag, on Sept. 1, 2016. Reportedly (NFL.com) he said,

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Where did that come from?

Kaepernick was born to a single white young woman from Wisconsin. His (unidentified) African-American father allegedly fled upon hearing of the pregnancy. A white couple, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick adopted Colin. They already had two children and had also lost two sons due to heart defects.

Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities – a country that holds the symbol of a beautiful flag and a national anthem that deserve respect and honor.

Somehow the kneel-deal of one year ago bled into this year. It’s swollen even more to race; reeled in politics and of course, all things Trump.

Critics will remind everyone that Trump was speaking at an Alabama primary race event a few days ago and said:

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son-of-a-b—h off the field right now, out, he’s fired.”

The critics would be correct about that.

What is not correct is that those words are surpassing being tortuously twisted into misleading enchantments and into blatant lies.

Multiple reports are saying Trump called for all disrespectful NFL players be fired and on the 11 o’clock CBSLA news Sept. 26, the female reporter made the comment that Trump “demanded” NFL players be fired.

Irrespective of the indelicate words by Trump, the majority agrees with the idea that this is America and we believe it’s the best country on the planet and to disrespect the national symbol and our song is reprehensible.

There’s the fallback position that Kaepernick has his First Amendment rights. Yes; and so does Trump, and so does every reader here. However, just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. The NFL must have rules of conduct; most employers do.

The players and coaches standing with arms locked are merely on the fence; they claim to show unity.

I think the majority of Americans prefer they show unity for America, her song and her flag.

Considering the double-digit loss of viewership so far, the NFL may well be taking “a knee” in a way they never considered.

 

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