Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
The NFL is trying to pat itself on the back for “allowing” players to exercise their Constitutional rights.
The NFL is trying to pat itself on the back for “allowing” players to exercise their Constitutional rights.
Image: Getty Images

Parents and children. Teachers and students. Owners and pets.

These are examples of situations in which the former has control or power over the latter. They can give opportunities and allow them to do things.

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And right now, the NFL is trying to pat itself on the back for “allowing” its black, and white, players to do something that they already have a Constitutional right to do.

According to a report from Front Office Sports, the league is close to coming to a decision that will “allow” players to take a knee during the national anthem.

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“We anticipate taking the same approach we’ve taken the last number of years,” a top league source told Front Office Sports. “No discipline will be enacted. No player has ever been fined.”

The NFL is acting as if the league has a long history of fining and disciplining players for kneeling, when in fact it’s never happened.

 

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Except for the fact that Colin Kaepernick is still being blackballed for doing something that everyone seems to be doing. On Monday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi even needed help getting up after she kneeled while wearing a Kente cloth on Capitol Hill.

Kneeling is the latest trend.

Everybody seems to be taking a knee except for the guy who started it because he’s still not been “allowed” back into the NFL to continue his peaceful protest.

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“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick in 2016. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

“I’m going to stand with the people that are being oppressed,” he explained. “To me this is something that has to change and when there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent in this country — is representing the way that it’s supposed to — I’ll stand.”

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Front Office Sport is also reporting that the league is working with the NFL Players Association to come up with an anthem strategy for the season. This is quite the change when you consider that just two years ago the league released a failed anthem policy that attempted to make players and team personnel “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” The failed policy, which was never implemented due to blowback, also gave teams the freedom to issue policies, which could include fines, as the league was also threatening teams that they, too, could be fined if their representatives kneeled or didn’t “show respect” during the anthem.

“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a recent video that didn’t mention Kaepernick, the anthem, or the flag. “We, the National Football League, believe that Black Lives Matter.”

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“Without African-American players, there would be no National Football League.”

Just last week, the league pledged another $20 million on top of the $64 million they donated to organizations fighting systemic racism. And in 2018, the league reached an agreement with the Players Coalition to donate $89M in a social justice partnership.

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However, while the money did wonders, it also came at a cost. As the head of the Players Coalition, former Philadelphia Eagles and current New Orleans Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins announced that he would cease raising his fist in protest during the anthem because of the donation.

“I don’t anticipate demonstrating this week simply because I felt like, when I started demonstrating, my whole motivation was to draw awareness to disenfranchised people, communities of color, injustices around the country, our criminal justice system,” said Jenkins in 2017.

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Jenkins dropped the ball, as it led to other players ceasing their protests. As you can see, the on-field awareness went away but the police’s affinity for killing unarmed black people did not.

Which leads up back to this moment, in which everyone is kneeling again. I guess that’s why the NFL is cool with “allowing” it.

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Because to them, it’s the trendy thing to do, not necessarily the right thing to do.

Saginaw Native. Morehouse Man. Syracuse (Newhouse) Alum. 2019 NABJ Award Winner. 2016 PABJ Journalist of the Year. I only eat my wings lemon-peppered. And I like brown liquor & brown women.

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