Every year I look forward to watching Washington Redskins football. Unfortunately, the nation is engulfed in controversy over racial discrimination. And it appears that different groups of people want to boycott the NFL because several players have refused to stand for the national anthem.
The chain of events began with former player Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem last season. He said he would not stand for a flag representing police brutality and racial inequality.
I have no issue with players expressing their freedom of speech and not standing for the national anthem. But, I do have an issue with how they choose to express themselves. Players forget they are employees of their respective teams. If a team owner is signing your paycheck, then he has a right to expect you to represent your team by standing for the national anthem.
If you want to protest or express yourself, then you are stealing from your employer because you are doing so on their time. You are receiving a check to play football. If your employer expects you to stand for the national anthem, then you should do so out of respect for your employer. If you want to protest anything, it’s your right. But you should do so on your own time.
So now people are upset that Kaepernick isn’t playing in the NFL and threatening to boycott. I won’t be boycotting the NFL for Kaepernick. Sure he has free speech, but he must also accept the fallout of his actions. Protestors also think they can strong-arm NFL team owners into signing Kaepernick. These individuals forget that these owners are billionaires. They are intelligent businessmen and didn’t become NFL owners by catering to irrational fans.
Also, comments from Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy summed up everything. He said that Kaepernick isn’t signed because he’s not so great that a team will put up with a media circus to sign him. But if it were someone like Tom Brady, the circus would be worth it. Consider your own employer. Let’s say they hire two men named Joe and Tom to sell widgets. Joe is bringing in $25,000 in annual revenues for the company while Tom brings in a cool million. Most likely, if Joe gets arrested for a crime, he will likely get fired. But if Tom commits the same crime, he might get a stern warning, but he’s not getting fired anytime soon. Kaepernick is in the same situation. In this case, he’s Joe.
Kaepernick is good enough to play in the NFL, but he’s not good enough to disrupt a locker room or warrant excessive media attention. Although many sports talking heads think Kaepernick is done in the NFL, I disagree. I think he will get another chance. But he will have to wait until a player gets injured. The Indianapolis Colts may be seeking a backup since Oliver Luck may be missing time for injuries. So it’s possible we could see Kaepernick wearing a Colts uniform. But it’s up to the team’s owner.
Fans and military veterans like myself have become angry about players refusing to stand for the anthem. Although I won’t boycott the NFL for this, I do eventually expect team owners to become sterner with their players. Since players want to sit, then maybe they should sit out the entire game. I like Jerry Jones’ stance for his Dallas Cowboys. He has said he is not in favor of players kneeling or sitting through the national anthem. I think his players know Jones well enough to understand that if they want to play for the Cowboys, they better respect his wishes.
Of all the teams that might sign Kaepernick, you can bet he will never wear a Dallas Cowboys uniform. If Kaepernick wants to play in the NFL again, he should not show up wearing socks referring to police officers as pigs or sporting a t-shirt with a hated dictator. So when the 2017 NFL season starts, you will likely find me eating wings and watching the NFL.
Marc is a grandparent and longtime resident of Clermont County. Visit his author page Life with Grandpa and he also just wrote Just Bite Me: A Guide to Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Walking Nightmares, which is available on Amazon.com.