Us Versus the NFL: What’s the End Game Here?

I had to get this off my chest.

On this lazy rainy Sunday morning, in my current mood, I find myself less and less interested in boycotting the NFL. Honestly, maybe it’s because I miss football. Plain and simple. It certainly doesn’t help any when I see my wife and kids strolling around the crib draped in my old Garcon, Moss, and Portis jerseys.

Or, maybe I just have too much going on in my life to be consumed by the circus that its become (subjective point of view, I know).

Or could it be that I am more focused on what it is that is being done to address the many issues of injustices we as minorities endure.

In my opinion, not watching NFL games last season and refraining from purchasing any NFL apparel, viewing packages (Red Zone, Sunday Ticket, etc..), and anything else that would be lining the pockets of the owners, was not done in vain. My actions along with those of many others, brought attention and awareness to the civil, economic, judicial and social injustices minorities experience, everyday. And that needed to happen.

But to be truthful, my intentions were not to hurt the NFL. My genuine interest was to show support for the movement Colin Kaepernick spearheaded, because I believed in it, and I didn’t appreciate how he was being ostracized and persecuted by the media, the NFL, and the orange-headed monster aka #45.

Image result for colin kaepernick nike

But I digress…

What I have been contemplating, is something that I never strategically thought to consider, which is what would be the metric for progress? What is it that I wanted from the NFL for me to say, okay… you’ve shown me you care, now I’ll start back watching football. Or was I ever planning to watch football again?

I didn’t consider that. I didn’t consider a lot of things. I certainly didn’t consider the thousands of aspiring football players whose lives have been predicated on the pursuit of becoming a professional football player and being able to support their entire families. Or, that the objective was not exclusively an NFL problem. It’s a MLB, NBA, NHL…hold up, wait. These are all professional sports associations and leagues?! If I’m not mistaken, isn’t this AMERICA’s problem? Why do I get the feeling that someone has ran a reverse sweep on me? Maybe, just maybe… we should be huddling up, and figuring out who else has an obligation to help on gang-tackling this 800 pound gorilla (a few football references…I must really miss football).

What are our local officials doing? What are our state representatives doing? What is the PRESIDENT doing?!?!

Again, I digress… this is about Us vs the NFL…right.

So, with that being said, I decided it was my obligation to analyze what progress has been made in the last 365 days since the NFL season opening weekend. If anything, for the sake of acknowledging the progress (if any), and being the optimist that I am, hopefully seeing a means to an end in which there is somewhat of a happy-medium. But what I also ask of any of you who care to read this article in its entirety, is to consider what else and who else have contributed to the cause.

Let’s take a look:
– The NFL commits $90 million to a new social justice initiative that supports efforts and programs to combat social inequality

Let’s Listen Together is formed, in which NFL players, owners and community leaders across the U.S. are uniting to listen and learn from one another, and to collaborate to strengthen communities; to improve police and community relations, the criminal justice system, and education and economic advancement

– How about NFL players off the field, and with that platform (money and fame), what have they been up to? Here take a look.

Now, whether or not if what has been done is or isn’t “enough”, does that mean we shouldn’t acknowledge what has been done? Progress is progress, right? Now I know, I know…the fact that Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are not in the NFL right now doesn’t sit well with me at all. I feel that they have been played for scapegoats and blackballed. I also understand that the NFL is a business, and the off-field controversy that both players bring may outweigh their on-field talent. And that just sucks. Ironically, that very controversial and courageous act has also landed Kaepernick a multi-million dollar contract extension with NIKE. How ’bout ‘dem apples?

I digress, again…

Emotional loyalty aside, for the sake of the subject of this article, I am only looking to assess the impact of their protests, and how the NFL (players and owners) have responded.

Speaking of responding – a few days ago, NIKE released an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick (which basically was a tear-jerker mixed with pride, joy and motivation), and I think everyone should watch, and I would think everyone who watched would also feel warm and fuzzy inside.. but below, I’ve re-posted two very different responses from very important representatives. Can you guess which came from who and who it came from?

Response #1: The “BLANK” believes in dialogue, understanding and unity. We embrace the role and responsibility of everyone involved….to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities,” (BLANK REPRESENTATIVE continued). “The social justice issues that Colin and other professional athletes have raised deserve our attention and action.”

Response #2: “I think it’s a terrible message.” BLANK stated and continued, “It is what this country is all about, that you have certain freedoms to do things that other people think you shouldn’t do, but I personally am on a different side of it.”

Well, I’m running out of thoughts, and getting hungry. Y’all enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and have a creative and productive week. Hopefully, I gave you something to consider…


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