Two of the most puffed-up egos in the NFL are Roger Goodell and Colin Kaepernick. Just weeks ago, both believed that they could spit directly in their paying fans’ faces, laugh about it, and continue to have them sacrifice their hard-earned money to support a league that is today little more than a sad joke.
So, Goodell, Kaepernick, and the rest of the league’s owners, staff, and players still believe it is up to them to decide what they can get away with and fans have no say in the matter. While they are busy scheduling bullshit meetings between themselves, they continue to ignore the problem.
Call me an extrasensory prodigy, but I believe you entitled NFL personalities are all missing the boat entirely. Let me help you. It is really a lot less complicated than you are making it.
The source of your problem is “disrespect.” Disrespect to our national anthem, our flag, our heroes in uniform, and your fans. Many of your players have demonstrated this thoughtless “disrespect” by kneeling during the national anthem.
That’s it! Disrespect by kneeling. That is your problem. Fix that, and you MAY stop the bleeding. I say “MAY” because you may have already waited too long to fix the problem that your arrogance prevented you from recognizing.
Any meetings between yourselves and anyone else will be wasted time if they don’t result in your fixing the disrespect. The league and the kneeling crybabies may compromise and decide, “OK, we will stand for the anthem, but our backs will be to the flag.”
NO GO! You have only replaced kneeling with turning your back on the flag. The “disrespect” is not gone, only remanifested. And, if you think for a second that any such trick play will fool the fans, you are sadly mistaken. You will only have once again proven the depth of your arrogance and you will have pissed off your fans even more.
The fans want what they want and are waiting to see if you are ever going to be smart enough to recognize it or if you are going to be stupid until you have lost any hope of salvaging your golden goose. You see, your former fans really don’t care as much as you think. Many have gone on to other Sunday activities. Others are getting their football fix on Saturday with college football or even Friday night with high school football. The NFL is not nearly as indispensable as you believe.
The fans want respect. They demand it. And, they are plenty smart enough to recognize it, and will be watching closely for it. So far, all you have offered is more disrespect.
I place the blame for this horrible misjudgment by the league on the team owners. They are the ones who had the power, if not the brains, to nip this stupidity in the bud from the beginning. They are billionaires, for crying out loud. Surely, they have PR people on the payroll who are paid to continually evaluate things like this. What the hell were they doing?
So, NFL powers that be, your meetings with each other to determine what the fans will receive is being perceived as only so much more arrogance and disrespect. Your astronomical salaries, your children’s fine private colleges and cars are being paid for by those fans, and you have the chutzpah to publicize your meetings with each other to determine what you are going to allow them to have? Really?
Were I an NFL team owner, here is how I would handle the problem. In every player’s contract, I am certain there is language requiring players to follow and obey team rules, and any violation will be grounds for breach of contract, and breach of contract relieves the owner from the responsibility of paying the player.
I would immediately include a new rule in the team rulebook, stating the following: “All players will stand respectfully for the national anthem, facing the flag with their right hands over their hearts. No talking, no laughing or smiling, total respect for the flag during the entire anthem. Any behavior that may be construed as less than respectful will not be tolerated and will be considered a breach of contract and grounds for immediate dismissal from the team.” PERIOD!
The NFL has invited Colin Kaepernick to attend a one-on-one meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell, a league spokesman told ESPN’s Jim Trotter, but the two sides have offered conflicting comments on whether the free-agent quarterback has responded to the invitation.
Kaepernick attorney Mark Geragos told ABC News they “responded immediately that Colin would be happy to attend” but that the meeting fell through when the league rejected a request for a mediator to be present.
Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, texted Kaepernick on Oct. 31 to update him on the ongoing talks about social issues between players and owners, league spokesman Joe Lockhart told Trotter on Tuesday.
At the end of the text message, Vincent extended the invitation for Kaepernick to meet with Goodell, according to Lockhart, who said the league has not heard back from the former San Francisco 49ers star.
Geragos disputed the notion that Kaepernick did not respond.
“We responded immediately that Colin would be happy to attend,” Geragos said in a statement provided to ABC News. “Because of the grievance we asked that a mediator be present. A mediator also would ensure that the discussions were productive and confidential and not used as a PR stunt or prop by the league. Colin’s proposal was rejected.”
Lockhart fired back after that claim, telling Trotter: “Mr. Geragos’ statement alone violates the collective bargaining agreement, breaking the confidentiality of the grievance process. So he can save his lecture on PR stunts. The invitation remains open.”
The league spokesman previously told Yahoo! Sports that Vincent had reached out to Kaepernick directly.
“This isn’t about his lawyer. This isn’t about a mediator. The question of, ‘Has [Colin] been invited in?’ the answer is yes,” Lockhart told Yahoo! “This isn’t part of any grievance process. This is part of the overall discussion we’ve been having on some of these social issues.”
Lockhart said earlier Tuesday during a conference call that the NFL would welcome Kaepernick’s participation in its larger meetings involving league executives, players and owners.
A league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter last week that Goodell, Vincent and NFL senior vice president of player engagement Arthur McAfee will be deposed and asked to turn over all cellphone records and emails in relation to Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL.
Kaepernick’s attorney said in October that the free-agent quarterback had filed a grievance under the CBA, alleging collusion against signing him to an NFL contract.
The filing, which demands an arbitration hearing, says the NFL and its owners “have colluded to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice and his bringing awareness to peculiar institutions still undermining racial equality in the United States.”
After filing the grievance, Kaepernick tweeted that he did so “only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”
Kaepernick drew national attention last season when he knelt during the national anthem before games to protest social injustice. His kneeling led to a movement that has spread throughout the league while being vilified by others, including President Donald Trump.
Kaepernick has not been with an NFL team since severing his contract with the 49ers in March. Sources told ESPN at the time that Kaepernick would stand during the anthem in 2017.