It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the NFL has turned itself into a business that promotes social justice causes and broadcasts football games on the side. And yet, Colin Kaepernick still somehow believes that the league hasn’t changed its mission in any meaningful way or done enough to champion progressive causes.
“I haven't seen any substantial change. I think there is a lot of work to do on that front,” Kaepernick said in an interview with NPR. “Obviously, not playing and being out of the NFL for six years is an indictment on where they are currently at. So I wouldn't put them at the forefront of goodwill and best of intentions in how they operate.”
Let’s start with the “I’m not back in the league” argument.
In 2019, the NFL invited Kaepernick to a private workout at the Atlanta Falcons practice facility to give him a chance to show his talent to NFL scouts. This was a generous offer, since Kaep had been out of the league for three years at this point. But at the last minute, he engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse with the league, changing the venue to nearby Riverdale the day the workout was scheduled so “more fans could see” and so he could have his own film crew.
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“From the outset, Mr. Kaepernick requested a legitimate process and from the outset the NFL league office has not provided one,” his reps said in a statement regarding getting the workout set up.
How is opening a practice facility of a professional team and having scouts from all 32 teams attend a workout not a legitimate process? This was the chance he was waiting for and he threw it away because he couldn’t have his yes-men filming him. If I were anyone with the NFL in this situation, I would not lift a finger to help this guy get back in the league after what it offered him and how he responded to it. Kaeprnick isn’t playing in the NFL because of his own doing.
As for the “substantial” change contention, only the NBA rivals the NFL in how many initiatives they have created and how much money they have spent in the name of “social justice.”
In 2018, the league created the “Inspire Change” initiative, which is basically an NFL-sponsored trust fund for progressive organizations. Earlier this month, the league announced that $300 million worth of donations have been made to this effort.
Players are still wearing progressive messages on their helmets, and the phrase “End Racism” is still plastered on the edges of endzones at numerous stadiums.
The league also relaunched its “Accelerator Program,” which is designed to help minority coaches and general managers get a head start in being hired by NFL teams. All of this doesn’t even account for the gay pride commercials the league has created and broadcasts during most of its games.
While it can be hard to quantify how the league’s efforts have brought about certain changes, it’s foolish to claim the league isn’t making an effort (to the chagrin of most Americans). What more does the league have to do to appease the spoiled brat that is Colin Kaepernick?
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