Protest or Disrespect?
One recent sports headline was the settlement of a lawsuit between the NFL and players Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick. While the exact figures that each player received has been withheld due to a non-disclosure agreement, it is rumored to be in the millions.
Both players were active in starting the movement to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem at the beginning of NFL games. This ignited a national controversy and led to significantly lower television ratings for NFL games and reduced popularity for the league.
The ratings drop led to an estimated $500 million in lost revenue for the NFL’s TV partners, while a FOX News poll revealed a drop in NFL favorability from 64% in 2013 to just 46% in October 2017.
The duo, both formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, had filed separate grievances against the NFL, claiming league collusion in attempting to prevent them from remaining active players. When analyzing the afore mentioned drop in profitability, perhaps it is Kaepernick and Reid who should give a refund to the NFL, not enjoy the millions they are to receive.
It is interesting that Reid remains in the NFL. While he did have a difficult time signing with a team after his contract with the 49ers expired at the end of the 2017-18 season, he eventually signed with Charlotte for the 2018-19 season and played in 13 games. Recently, he signed a three-year extension worth $22 million.
Kaepernick, on the other hand, has yet to sign with a new NFL team. Some argue that collusion among NFL owners has blacklisted him. Others argue that a decline in the quality of Kaepernick’s play, not to mention the toxicity of his name, has caused teams to take a pass on his services. Kaepernick may have an inflated sense of his worth to a team, as he was in the bottom quartile of quarterback ratings in his last season of 2016, when during his 11 starts the 49ers won once and lost 10 times. He also had difficulty holding on to the ball by fumbling nine times in those games.
This declining performance has not changed Kaepernick’s salary demands; he recently sought a $20 million contract to play in the Alliance of American Football league where the average player makes $75,000 per year.
Kaepernick needs to get a grip on reality. He decided to take a political stand unpopular with the vast majority of Americans who didn’t want to see politicization of our national anthem. Unlike Kaepernick, NFL owners are businesspeople. Why would they invest more money in an individual who hurt their brand, popularity, and profitability?
Kaepernick’s “activism,” while living in a multi-million dollar mansion, was not limited to disrespecting our nation. During the 2016 season he was also seen wearing socks that depicted police officers as pigs, a T-shirt that glorified the brutal Marxist dictator Fidel Castro, and donated $25,000 to an organization that honored Assata Shakur, who fled to Communist Cuba after killing a Chicago police officer.
Kaepernick claims he is fighting racism. Does racism still exist in America? Yes, sadly it remains in the hearts of some Americans. And yes, it’s likely that some police officers racially profile innocent people.
But most people are good willed, and love triumphs over hate. The reason the civil rights movement led by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was so successful was that it was based on non-violent Christian principles and held the moral high ground.
The disrespect that Kaepernick displays to his own nation, which has given him so much opportunity to succeed, is frankly sickening and disgusting. If he dislikes America so much, he is free to leave at any time.
Of course, Kaepernick has his supporters among professional athletes. LeBron James expressed open support by stating “I stand with Kap. I kneel with Kap. I feel like what he was talking about nobody wanted to listen to, or really understand where he was coming from.”
Perhaps that is true, but LeBron apparently fails to understand that many people’s concern is how Kaepernick chose to express his feelings, by showing disrespect and contempt for our nation.
Such behavior runs counter to the millions of patriotic African-Americans, such as the Tuskegee Airmen, who have served our nation to protect our freedoms despite the fact that these rights were not always extended to them. Those are people worthy of our respect and admiration, as opposed to some overpaid, pampered, and ungrateful athlete such as Colin Kaepernick.
Written by Rich Sena as previously published in the Boerne Star