What a difference a year makes. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg that he would “support” and even “encourage” a team to sign former San Francisco 49ers quarterback—and formerly controversial figure—Colin Kaepernick. He added that he hopes Kaepernick, who (in)famously took to kneeling during the national anthem prior to the start of games to protest racial injustice, will help “guide” the league on social justice issues. (Kaepernick hasn’t been in the NFL since the 49ers released him in 2016 after he lost the starting quarterback job to Blaine Gabbert.)
Goodell wants Kaepernick to be the league’s conscience, its lodestar, in all things related to justice? That seems wise. It’s like asking Louis Farrakhan to chair the committee on U.S.-Israeli relations. It’s akin to letting Greta Thunberg guide the world’s climate change policy. When did Kaepernick become an eminence grise?
While Goodell’s at it, why doesn’t he just outright ban the flag from all NFL games, period? F**k it, he should have each NFL city hold a flag-burning contest! Burning and looting are all the rage now, at least among certain favored groups, right? Maybe the league could replace the “Punt, Pass and Kick” competitions it used to hold with “Spit on the Veterans” contests. What fun! Who can hit one from the furthest distance? Who is the most accurate? Who can hawk the biggest loogie?
It seems like only a year or so ago that the NFL was kind of respectful of the flag and our veterans. Oh, that’s right, that’s because it was. But everything is changing at breakneck speed now, and sports are no exception. Goodell’s remarks clearly illuminate the league’s calculus, where it sees the demographics, opinions and beliefs of its advertisers and audience going in the near future. And the league is betting big on its assumptions.
The smart money is in. And it’s on multi-culturalism, not E Pluribus Unum, Marxism not merit. And, in what appears to be a paradox but isn’t, money not principle.
Not even a “Hail Mary” will save us now.