SOB’s and Hypocrites: The State of the NFL

RODGER MALLISON / FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM - Dallas Cowboys Take a Knee Before The Anthem

RODGER MALLISON / FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM - Dallas Cowboys Take a Knee Before The Anthem

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, `Get that son of a bitch off the field right now! Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!” This controversial statement did not come from an angry fan…but from the President of the United States. If anyone were to give a state of the NFL address, this could accurately describe the current state of one of America’s most popular sports. 

The NFL has already been surrounded by controversy with NFL players causing media frenzy with protest demonstrations during the national anthem drawing mixed feelings amongst fans across the country. So much has been going on that people are beginning to forget what Colin Kaepernick’s original protest was all about. Kaepernick’s original protest was to bring attention to police brutality, and inequalities in black communities. Kaepernick has been virtually blackballed by every team in the NFL because of this and continues to remain unemployed. Now let’s take a look at some of the NFL’s biggest hypocrites and phonies. 

Donald Trump’s statement about the player protests sparked rage across the league, so much so that just about every team had players displaying some type of protest during or before the national anthem. Where were all these protests when Kaepernick was catching fire for his views? It took for the President of the United States to call players SOB’s for teams and owners to make statements and protests against the President. But the protests were just that, they were against the President and not for the cause of social justice or any other issue plaguing the black community. 

Dez Bryant, Hypocrite. When asked about his initial stance on the kneeling during the anthem, Bryant stated “Whatever they got going on with that, that’s them...I don’t really have nothing to say about that.” Dez Bryant wanted no parts of showing Kaepernick’s protest support but as soon as the President says something disrespectful, I guess it is okay to kneel now. What exactly are you protesting Dez?

Ray Lewis, Hypocrite. Ray Lewis was very clear in telling Kaepernick to stick to sports and keep his social activism off the field. But after the President’s comments, he was seen not taking just one knee, but two knees! “I dropped on two knees, both knees, so I could simply honor God in the midst of chaos,” Lewis said trying to clarify his position on his actions. Shannon Sharpe, a former teammate of Lewis was extremely bothered by his actions and called him out on it: 

“Ray Lewis sat in that chair right there and said that he could never kneel,” Sharpe said. “He could never not stand for the national anthem, because so many people died, and he had family members that fight for this country for the opportunity — and the flag means so much to him. And he kneeled. Not on one knee, on both knees. So what were you kneeling for? You kneeled, you showed solidarity, because of what President Trump said? And when Colin Kaepernick is trying to draw attention to the injustices going on, you deem that inappropriate?.” 

Sharpe brought attention to the issue of phony protests and called a spade a spade. 

Jerry Jones, Hypocrite. Out of all the NFL’s biggest phonies this weekend, Jerry Jones takes the cake. “I do not think the place to express yourself in society is as we recognize the American flag” Jones stated, “So that’s not the place to do anything other than honor the flag and everybody that’s given up a little bit for it.” Once again, it took a controversial statement from the Commander in Chief for Jerry Jones to get down on a knee before the anthem to make a protest. What are you protesting Jerry Jones? Jerry Jones is a business man and this move of kneeling before the anthem was solely to make a statement disregarding the President’s comments. 

So which one of these kneeling owners will hire Kaepernick now that he is not the only protester? Crickets.

NFL owners have been very reluctant to sign Kaepernick, but it almost seems as though it has nothing to do with talent. No team wants to deal with the media frenzy that comes with signing Kaepernick. One could argue that by signing Kaepernick, that team or owner would be making a political statement by having him apart of the team, and it is very clear, that the owners do not sit well with Kaepernick’s views. 

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, fans of the NFL have forgotten what the purpose of Kaepernick was for. Instead of seeing players speak out on justices, we are seeing teams make statements directed toward the President. The NFL has turned into a political spectacle and instead of tuning into the games, fans are more interested in seeing what the players will do before the game. 

The issues still stand; what about police brutality? What about the injustices people of color deal with on a daily basis? These issues have taken a backseat because the President has effectively turned the focus away them and pointed the fans focus in a direction that makes people believe they are being disrespectful to military and the flag. The same flag that is supposed to stand for peace and equality for all Americans. The same military that fights for the rights of all Americans to have freedom of speech and peaceful protest. Maybe if Kaepernick had led a march with NFL players carrying torches, the President might be calling the players “very fine people.” 

Kaepernick’s demonstration during the national anthem seemed to have brought out “protest experts” from all over the country. Instead of worrying about the actual issues Kaepernick protested, the biggest issue has been how he did it. The whole point of protest is to make people uncomfortable so the point can get across. Needless to say, whether you agree with how he did it or not, Kaepernick was extremely successful in getting his point across because here we are a year later, still talking about it. At the very least, we are starting to have the discussions that people of color have been trying to have for year. Virtually, Kaepernick sacrificed his career to be a voice for the people who have no voice. The issues he is fighting for may not be resolved at this point in time, but the fact that they are being brought to the surface for all Americans to see is progress itself.