When even Democrats start speaking out against a so-called protest you know you’re on the losing side.
Justice Bill O’Neill of the Ohio State Supreme Court posted a heated Facebook status Tuesday in response to the failed unemployed 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 12 Cleveland Browns players who took it upon themselves to join Kaepernick by protesting the national anthem during an August preseason game.
Judge O’neil’s post, which has since been taken down, stated that we will not pay to witness the disrespect of the American flag. And he added that you have freedom of speech but I also have the freedom of not paying $75 to listen to you. And if freedom of speech is so clear here, why not burn the flag on the 50-yard line.
He later went on to write, “Congratulations Cleveland Browns on your win. Unfortunately, my season ended last night. I will NEVER attend a sporting event where the draft dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field. Shame on you all. William O’Neill, LTC, US Army, Retired. Vietnam veteran; son of a World II veteran; proud father of an Iraq veteran.” Good for him!
Maybe Colin Kaepernick Is Just Not That Good
Whether or not Colin Kaepernick plays another down in the N.F.L., I’m going to say that he can achieve more off a football field than he — or anyone else in the sport — can achieve on one.
Football, in the larger scheme of things, is not that important. Kaepernick, meanwhile, has a message about crucial aspects of our frayed but hopefully repairable nation that will continue to grow. If he has the devotion to work for change, he could outclass Tom Brady, or any player you might name, as someone who did something that truly matters for future generations.
But I thought it might be useful to at least consider something. The conventional wisdom is that Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers after last season and has yet to be signed by another team, does not have an N.F.L. job on account of his politics. In protest against racism and police brutality, he won’t stand for the national anthem, and he’s increasingly outspoken on social issues. Earlier this summer in a tweet he likened the police to members of the fugitive slave patrol. N.F.L. owners, the thinking goes, must be racists who don’t like his politics — or cynical pragmatists who don’t like that their racist fans don’t like his politics.
What seems to me more problematic than Kaepernick’s not having a job is the general unwillingness to consider that this situation might be justified on the merits, given Kaepernick’s current attributes, or lack thereof, as a quarterback, rather than assuming, as part of a kneejerk gospel of victimhood, that persecution must be the cause.
It’s not hard to make a statistical case for why Kaepernick is not playing now. He threw for a mere 187 yards a game last season, which was good enough for 30th (in a league of 32 teams). For his career, he has completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes. Last season, 24 passers completed more than 60 percent. Kaepernick, at 59.2 percent, was ranked 26th. If you’re below 60 percent, you’re a fringe guy.
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More damning, Kaepernick was not asked to make difficult throws; he’s not a Matt Ryan-type quarterback, slinging the ball far down the field on deep crosses or challenging out routes. In the current iteration of the N.F.L., offense rules the day, with quarterbacks tasked to put up crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Kaepernick’s job was to be a game manager, making the easiest, high-percentage throws. And he still struggled. What are you supposed to do with a guy like this? What can he do for you? Can he help you win?
If Kaepernick deserves a spot in the league, it’s only as a backup quarterback. And he will eventually get a job as one, I bet, once quarterbacks start getting hurt. But the fact that he doesn’t have a job right now isn’t shocking, and it doesn’t have to be because N.F.L. owners are racists who are blackballing him.
The older I get, the less I care about football, but I do care about merit, and things being seen for what they are. “Life is,” as Dostoyevsky wrote, and it is our job to figure out what the “is” is. I believe that’s one of the core responsibilities of being human.
We don’t do this enough anymore. We don’t ask the tough questions. We seek to align ourselves with what I think of as the “control voice” — whatever piped-in monotone is dictating a given narrative at the moment. It’s easy to feel good about yourself when you’re patting yourself on the back for your inability to never fail to take the moral high ground, which everyone who agrees with you reinforces and enables, one Facebook “like” at a time. But there is nothing real about that.
It doesn’t matter that Kaepernick doesn’t have a job; it matters that so few people even wonder if there might be a non-disgraceful explanation. We have become the anti-meritocracy. We resent those who outperform us, outwork us, outproduce us. And the person who has been perceived to have been slighted? He is whom we now adore.
I’d like to see Kaepernick get a job, because I find him interesting, and I’d like to see if he can solve the flaws in his game as he nears 30. But I’d like even more to see all of us challenge ourselves more, in ways that are more important to the world, and to ourselves, than whether or not someone gets a job taking an ill-advised sack, or throwing the ball out of bounds so he can live to play another down.
The writer is correct, he really isn’t good at all.
The fact that NFL viewership is falling fast because of this garbage gives us hope that people really do care, People are pushing back against these spoiled rich ball throwers. The only way this asinine so-called protests will end for good is when the NFL gathers enough nerves to say “enough” and starts hitting these thugs where it hurts, their bank accounts. “You don’t stand, you don’t get paid.” It’s simple, if they don’t like it, they can go play ball in Iran where they hate the US as much as these spoiled millionaires do. Just like the NFL doesn’t let its employees wear, or display, unapproved logos during games, they can tell these rich spoiled ingrates to stand the hell up for our national anthem and stop disrespecting our great nation and everything she, and us, stand for and hold dear.
Please share if you agree the NFL needs to be boycotted until they put an end to this disrespect of our flag….
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