Colin Kaepernick. When people hear his name you get one of two responses from football fans, “I respect what he did and it was his right to do so” or “I think you should stand regardless of who or what you are protesting because he dishonors our military, veterans, and America”. The latter is what the NFL Owners have focused on and are using to shut him out of the NFL saying that viewership dropped after his protest. The real reason this is happening is money plain and simple. It always comes down to money in the NFL and this whole situation is about is money, a $25 billion goal to be exact. Which all comes from TV contracts and a little National Patriotism sprinkled in.
First, let’s talk about “Paid Patriotism”. In 2009 the NFL never had players standing for the National Anthem, why because the players stayed in the locker room until it was time to start the game. In 2011 that all changed when the NFL started to receive money from the Department of Defense ($5.4 Million) and the National Guard ($6.7 Million). Once teams started receiving this money you began to see NFL players on the field for the National Anthem, fighter jet flyovers, and fireworks. With all of this money being recently revealed to the world the NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell said that the NFL would return $723,000 of the money given to them. After that was done the NFL still receives flyovers and flag waving on the field and they want this to continue.Now when it comes to TV contracts the NFL reigns supreme among all other sports raking in roughly $7 billion in 2016. If you add the TV ads revenue ($3.5 billion) in 2016 up 3% over 2015 then you have a sport that brought in over $13 billion in total revenue after you add ticket sales and products sold. Roger Goodell and the NFL Owners have set a high bar which is to have the NFL bring in $25 billion by 2027, and they are on pace to hit that mark but that little dip in viewership 8% scared them and they needed a scape goat for this. Now yes Kaepernick may have accounted for a very small dip in the ratings but the majority of this was due to the presidential election happening on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays as well as nationally televised games lacking competition.
This is the real reason that Colin Kaepernick isn’t in the NFL and not the reason you hear from Owners which was his kneeling in protest of police violence. In the same year that Kaepernick knelt during the National Anthem, the Miami Dolphins had players (Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas) knelt as well. Just to show that this is a ridiculous reason to keep Kaepernick out after the incident in Miami, the Miami Dolphins Organization came out with a statement saying “They respected their players right to protest and no action would be taken against them”. The Denver Broncos Brandon Marshall knelt in protest, Kansas City Chief Marcus Peters raise a fist in the air in protest while his teammates stood together with their arms locked, New England Patriots players Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett both raise their fists in protest. The entire Seattle Seahawks football team including coaches locked arms in protest during the National Anthem. If this is the reason for Colin Kaepernick not being in the NFL than all of these players shouldn’t be in the league either. Yes, Kaepernick started the protest but to punish one and not all isn’t right.
Teams have had a chance to bring him in, two of which had players and coaches protest during the National Anthem, the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks but both have decided to bring in players with less talent, just have lost a step, or even the desire to play and it’s a shame. Kaepernick is a good man and was a good quarterback in this league but the lesson the NFL Owners want to teach him and all other players are don’t mess with our bottom dollar and in the end, the players will always lose and Colin Kaepernick has become the first casualty in a situation no player will even win.