Bad Calls of 2017 Sports: NFL Fumbles Away its Reputation, Drives for Social Justice Paydirt

This may be news to some, but the National Football League exists, in part, to influence legislative change. Lobbying Congress is now an important part of the league's mission, right up there with the administration of a professional football league. That's what we observed during the 2017 NFL season, when the league, players and liberal media all lent their support to off-the-field social justice crusades. The league green-lighted players kneeling, sitting and giving power salutes in open defiance of the national anthem, veterans and police officers. Commissioner Roger Goodell and players are pushing Congress for prison reform and other actions unrelated to football, and the league agreed to spend almost $100 million on social justice issues! All the while, the league's popularity, ticket sales and television ratings plummeted. But who cares? The lib media loves the new face of pro football, and they love Colin Kaepernick, the catalyst for protests that angered untold numbers of fed-up fans who have bid adieu to the NFL. Following are examples of how the left-stream media covered the debacle known as the NFL and Kaepernick in 2017.

Donte Stallworth, CNN contributor, talking about NFL plans to get involved in social justice activism:

"It’s also, again from what I’m hearing from players directly involved in these talks, they’re telling me it’s also about the gender pay gap, it’s also about housing discrimination, they have so many things that they are interested in and advocating for and they want the NFL to take ownership in and help be able to use the NFL’s platform."

Michael McCarthy, of the The Sporting News, complaining that TV networks were refusing to show NFL protesters::

"Three weeks ago, the NFL's partner TV networks refused to show angry fans booing protesting players. Now, these worried networks are refusing to show any protests during the national anthem at all.

"The TV partners flushed players' historic social justice protests down the memory hole in Week 6."

Evan Grossman, New York Daily News:

"Honestly, what is more difficult to watch: An NFL player on his knee or one laying motionless on a stretcher?

"(Troy) Aikman, who has a well-documented history with concussions, has said he has no memory of playing in the 1994 NFC Championship Game. Aikman’s battered brain will never get the kind of blame reserved for Kaepernick’s afro for pushing people away from football."

Harold Jenkins, Philadelphia Eagles, quoted by The Undefeated:

''We’re talking about using the NFL platform to talk about issues that are important to the African-American community, on top of using their legislative power to create change. The underreported part of this is the platform piece.''

Clinton Yates, The Undefeated:

''There was no responsible way around saying that Colin Kaepernick’s had the blackest year in sports. His actions regarding the national anthem in football have set off a flurry of activity so huge that every person in America has an opinion about his actions. On that strength alone, you’d have to say his protest was effective. I don’t care about the interior chalk talk of whether or not police are actually less racist. That’s not Kap’s job to fix.''

Stephanie Petit, People Magazine, on Beyoncé presenting Colin Kaepernick the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award:

The picture of Beyoncé and Colin Kaepernick just saved 2017.

Khaled Beydoun, senior affiliated faculty with the University of California-Berkeley Islmaophobia Research and Documentation Project, writing about Colin Kaepernick on Al Jazeera:

"For social justice advocates, Kaepernick became a hero, following in the footsteps of Muhammad Ali, John Carlos, and other athletes that seized on the field of play, and their fame, to shine light on the injustices endured by their people. Yet, for the NFL and its fraternity of owners, Kaepernick was a pariah that not only threatened the NFL brand, but the very lifeline of modern professional sports, and particularly leagues comprised of predominantly black and brown athletes. Those have been reducing the athlete into a docile beast for mass entertainment, and punishing those who dare to step out as critical citizens.

"By championing the Black Lives Matter movement and channeling his celebrity to challenge racial injustice, Kaepernick pierced the myth that sport is a field divorced from the bleak realities gripping Black men and women in America. And by doing so, he exposed that the very racism that inspired his protest thrives in the league that blackballs him today."

New York Daily News senior justice writer and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King announcing he's boycotting the NFL:

''It's racism. It's bigotry. It's discrimination. Period. It's not football. Don't call it football. If you call the decisions by 32 teams to not sign this man a football decision, you don't know football and probably voted for Donald Trump. Nearly 100 quarterbacks -- 96, in fact -- are usually signed to teams in the NFL. That Colin Kaepernick is not one of them is disgusting.

''As a leader in the Black Lives Matter Movement, as a voice in the resistance to Donald Trump, and as a friend of Colin Kaepernick, I cannot, in good conscience, support the NFL any longer. If I did, I'd struggle to look at myself in the mirror.''

David Dennis, Jr., adjunct journalism professor at Morehouse College, writing on The Crew blog that Tom Brady is un-American for supporting President Trump:

"When Colin Kaepernick opted not to stand for the National Anthem, he was immediately marked as un-American ― as someone who was anti-troops and held little regard for America. ... (Tom) Brady’s Trump endorsement, however, has been largely ignored when, in fact, supporting Donald Trump as President of The United States is far more threatening to America than taking a knee during the National Anthem."

Roland Martin, News One Now, on Kaepernick's prolonged free agency:

''Well, I think in this case here we'll change our graphic, Colin Kaepernick's not being blackballed, he's being white-balled.''

William C. Rhoden, The Undefeated, claims Colin Kaepernick is acting in the great tradition of America:

"The United States won its independence, but we’re not free. ... The apparent blackballing of Kaepernick is not about football. This is about the erosion of the American Soul filtered through the prism of football.

"NFL owners apparently don’t want whatever Kaepernick has -- consciousness -- to spread. Kaepernick is merely acting in the great tradition that fueled the Revolutionary War: dissent. A significant part of the public seems to have become anesthetized to the unnecessary use of force by police and perhaps to the idea that comfort may come at the expense of a fellow citizen."

Christine Brennan, USA Today, writing on the exemplary citizen Colin Kaepernick:

''But to fail to acknowledge – and even celebrate – that what Kaepernick did was his right as a U.S. citizen is to ignore one of the reasons the United States is the great and free nation that it is.''

Harry Edwards, emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley suggesting the NFL hire Kaepernick as deputy commissioner; quoted by Christine Brennan of the USA Today:

"If for whatever reason Kaep is not on a roster during the preseason and for the regular season, I think that the league should offer him another position – deputy commissioner – if for no other reason than to have his input and perspectives on the management of emerging situations.”

Michael Rosenberg, Sports Illustrated, announcing Colin Kaepernick as the winner of the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award:

"In the last 16 months, Kaepernick’s truth has been twisted, distorted and used for political gain. It has cost him at least a year of his NFL career and the income that should have come with it. But still, it is his truth. He has not wavered from it. He does not regret speaking it. He has caused millions of people to examine it."

Louis Bien, SB Nation, on Colin Kaepernick's collusion claim against the NFL:

"Here’s how I hope the Colin Kaepernick collusion case plays out: There is a video tape, and on it, 32 owners are sitting in a circle in a dark Knights Templar/Skull & Bones/Stonecutters setting, wearing robes, and decreeing before a golden altar that no team shall sign Kaepernick. They then mutter an oath in a dead language of the ancients, and the camera pans to reveal Roger Goodell leather-strapped naked to the wall with an apple in his mouth."

Robert O'Connell, The Atlantic, in defense of Kaepernick:

"Team owners and general managers who refuse to give Kaepernick a shot do so knowing full well that it harms their ability to compete; they would rather lose without him than win with him. All season long, his absence has been suspicious. Now, it is damning."


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