“Rich Men-Stupid Decisions”
The firestorm that won’t go away.
The NFL stokes the fires and they erupt again, This national anthem controversy has erupted again, much like that volcano in Hawaii.
And this lava spill of reaction is going to bubble and boil over the rest of the spring, and into the start of the season, again.
The NFL owners concluded three days of meetings, including intense dialogue about the national anthem protests that stained the game last year, split the fans and it players, and hurt the league’s TV ratings and sponsorships
Roger Goodall wanted unity on the issue, that began with Colin Kaeperneck’s decision to knee during the 2016 season, protesting social injustice issues involving murders, arrests, and police confrontations with blacks.
From 1-player on the 49ers, to teams, they stood, they kneeled, the raised fists, they turned their backs. All types of protests, that spread like an oil spill across the NFL.
Now the owners have voted, on Goodall’s recommendation, players will be given the choice to stand on the sidelines for the anthems, or remain in the lockeroom till the anthems are over.
But if a player elects to stand on the sidelines, and makes any form of gesture, his team will face a strong fine. And the teams will also be allowed fine their own players, if they wish.
And the NFL specified, any gesture, from kneeling, to linking arms, to raising a fist, will be viewed as a violation.
The NFL last spring said it would make 90M in funding available to be split in different NFL cities for social issues programs, this after in-season meetings between the league and a committee of players.
The world reacted terribly when Kaeperneck first knelt, and the protests grew as the season went on.
It continued early last season, with rage on both street corners, those demanding the flag be respected, vs those who believe players have a right to freedom of speech.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is demanding his players stand for the anthem, and he stood on the sidelines, arms linked with his teammates, as a Cowboy team protest.
Other owners were verbal, saying they wanted their teams to be unified, many standing, but no one disciplined anyone along the way.
As season waned, the protests lost their stream. People got back to playing football, and hopes the new NFL financed programs would help.
But now this, an iron fist decision, that is going to lead to more confrontations.
The NFL should allow the players to make their choice, stand or sit, kneel as one or do it together. Use the black fist salute as a gesture of protest over police brutality.
Bu no, the NFL,which used to have its way on anything-everything, has created another monster problem for itself, its players, it TV partners, the union and the fans.
Ratings are down 17-percent over the last two years, and what the NFL owners just did is surely to trigger more negative flashback again.
Players making 12 to 20M a year aren’t protesting how they are being treated. They are protesting the ills in society that still exist on black-vs-white issues. These guys will show up and play hard, and earn their bucks.
You may dislike Kaeperneck, who walked away from a 12.6M contract, then protested, but understand this black quarterback has given 1M of earnings to causes in 4-different cities, plus a hospital in Africa, this while being unemployed, blamed, blackballed by NFL teams..
Players should have the right to take a stance or take a knee before the game starts.
The NFL has created another showdown issue, that they can’t win, no matter how many teams they fine.
They thought they solved it last year. They’ve screwed it up again this year.
You wait and see, opening day won’t be just about 32-teams starting play. It will be about how many team defy Goodall and the rich owners, who think they can tell the players what they should feel, or what they should think.
A firestorm is coming again, and you can blame this one on Roger Goodall, not Colin Kaeperneck.
Here’s what I think should happen. America’s fans should stand and lock arms opening day in their own form of social protest against the heavy handed rich men who made another stupid decision.
What’s the NFL going to do to the fans? Fine them?