‘So­cial jus­tice’ ini­tia­tive of the Dol­phins is hol­low with­out Kaeper­nick in the pic­ture

South Florida Times - - OPINION -

It seems that at least some of the 32 bil­lion­aire own­ers of Na­tional Foot­ball League teams are not too fa­vor­ably dis­posed to­wards so­cial jus­tice is­sues and that a few ap­pear to be down­right hos­tile. It also seems that a hand­ful at least un­der­stand where Black Lives Mat­ter and Colin Kaeper­nick are com­ing from.

The dilemma of the lat­ter group was un­der­lined by some­one out­side the NFL: John Sch­nat­ter, founder of Papa John’s Pizza.“The NFL has hurt us,” Sch­nat­ter said, “by not re­solv­ing the cur­rent de­ba­cle to the play­ers’ and own­ers’ sat­is­fac­tion. NFL lead­er­ship has hurt Papa John’s share­hold­ers.”

Sch­nat­ter was in fact call­ing on the NFL to shut down the protests by its play­ers who are re­fus­ing to stand when the na­tional an­them is played and he is threat­en­ing to pull his TV ads from NFL games.The rea­son? Not so much “pa­tri­o­tism” as much as the bot­tom line. Sch­nat­ter’s per­sonal net worth fell $70 mil­lion in a re­cent 24-hour pe­riod, Forbes mag­a­zine re­ported.

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dal­las Cow­boys and per­haps the harsh­est critic of the kneel­ers, quickly dubbed Sch­nat­ter “one of the great Amer­i­cans.” Jones owns more than 100 Papa John’s fran­chises.

Then the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer web­site not only hailed Sch­nat­ter but also adopted Papa John’s as its of­fi­cial pizza, post­ing a photo of a slice com­plete with a Nazi Swastika. In re­sponse, the com­pany stated: “We con­demn racism in all forms and any and all hate groups that sup­port it.We do not want these in­di­vid­u­als or groups to buy our pizza.”

Which is pre­cisely the prob­lem. How can Sch­nat­ter de­nounce the at­tempt by Kaeper­nick and oth­ers to bring po­lice bru­tal­ity and racism to the fore­front of Amer­i­can con­scious­ness and yet pre­tend out­rage when they find out the com­pany that po­si­tion puts them in?

It is a dilemma that must be keep­ing the NFL own­ers up late at night -- not so much how Amer­ica’s se­cu­rity is be­ing com­pro­mised by foot­ball play­ers kneel­ing when the Na­tional An­them is be­ing sung as much as the specter of po­ten­tially empty sta­di­ums and di­min­ish­ing view­er­ship and TV ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue. The VICE news site re­ported that the NFL earned a com­bined $12 bil­lion in 2015, with mer­chan­dise sales bring­ing in more than $1.55 bil­lion.

The NFL fum­bled a sure touch­down on this play by not be­ing de­ci­sive and ac­knowl­edg­ing with pride that it is a few of its 1,600 or so play­ers, 70 per­cent of whom are black, that have helped get Amer­i­cans to fo­cus on a ma­jor na­tional is­sue.

“I am not go­ing to stand up to show pride in a flag for a coun­try that op­pressed black peo­ple and peo­ple of color,” Kaeper­nick ex­plained at the very be­gin­ning. “To me, this is big­ger than foot­ball and it would be self­ish on my part to look the other way. There are bod­ies in the street and peo­ple are get­ting paid leave and get­ting away with mur­der.”

The NFL’s an­swer to this ex­er­cise of the right to free ex­pres­sion has been a univer­sal boy­cott of Kaeper­nick ever since he first knelt on Au­gust 14, 2016. And this is the quar­ter­back who took the San Fran­cisco 49ers to the Su­per Bowl in 2012.

In a place such as Mi­ami-Dade County, with a di­verse pop­u­la­tion and a his­tory of po­lice-com­mu­nity con­fronta­tion, it was not un­rea­son­able to hope that the home­town NFL team would be­have dif­fer­ently. Be­sides, sev­eral non-whites have mi­nor­ity shares in the Dol­phins -- ten­nis su­per­stars Ser­ena Wil­liams and Venus Wil­liams, singer Glo­ria Este­fan and her hus­band Emilio Este­fan and singer Marc An­thony, ac­cord­ing to a 2015 ESPN re­port – and they would be ex­pected to show they are now just win­dow-dress­ing.

In­deed, the ma­jor­ity owner, real es­tate mag­nate Stephen M. Ross, won praise for sup­port­ing play­ers who knelt and specif­i­cally de­fended four of them – Arian Foster, Je­lani Jenk­ins, Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas – who took a knee dur­ing the singing of the an­them on Sept. 11, 2016.

But much of the ini­tial good­will be­gan to dis­si­pate af­ter start­ing quar­ter­back Ryan Tan­nehill was in­jured be­fore the start of the sea­son and the Dol­phins snubbed Kaeper­nick in fa­vor of Jay Cut­ler, a re­tiree with a broad­cast­ing gig. Head Coach Adam Gase’s ex­pla­na­tion? He had worked with Cut­ler pre­vi­ously and knew what he was get­ting. Right.

The Dol­phins also or­dered that play­ers who won’t stand for the an­them must wait in the locker room while it is be­ing sung. Of course man­age­ment still sup­ports play­ers’ right to join the Kaeper­nick protest -- just not on the field, where they can be seen.

For­mer interim DNC Chair­woman Donna Brazile told all those Democrats who are telling her to “shut up” af­ter she ex­posed some re­ally re­veal­ing fam­ily laun­dry in her new tell-all book “Hacks:” – to go to Hell! (The full ti­tle of the book is “Hacks:The in­side story of the break-ins and break­downs that put Don­ald Trump in the White Huse”).

But the Democrats are the ones who need to shut up - not Donna Brazile!

Be­fore I talk about Donna Brazile’s book and why she told her fel­low Democrats to “Go to Hell” I want to talk about how Democrats need to “shut up” them­selves.

On Sun­day, a hor­rific act oc­curred in Souther­land Springs, Texas when a de­ranged hate­ful man walked into a church – a sanc­tu­ary which should never be de­filed – and in the mid­dle of Sun­day ser­vice when peo­ple were pray­ing, wor­ship­ping, prais­ing God and lis­ten­ing to His Holy Word, this man shot ev­ery­one in sight.

This hate­ful, venge­ful man mur­dered 26 in­no­cent vic­tims rang­ing from 18 months to 77 years old and wounded 20 oth­ers. Eight mem­bers of one fam­ily were slaugh­tered, in­clud­ing a 1 year old lit­tle girl.

Al­most ev­ery­one in the church was mur­dered and more would prob­a­bly have been killed had not a con­cerned neigh­bor who heard the shots got his own gun and shot the mad­man.

This hero, Mr. Stephen Wille­ford, a plum­ber, avid biker and a sharp­shooter, didn’t hes­i­tate to shoot this man and when the man got into his ve­hi­cle to drive away, Mr. Wille­ford flagged down an­other man and they both chased this fool.

But in­stead of talk­ing about how aw­ful it was for church folk to have been mur­dered in their sanc­tu­ary, Democrats im­me­di­ately came out with their own hate­ful rhetoric, as usual, and blamed Repub­li­cans for this mur­der­ous act. Con­necti­cut Sen­a­tor Chris Mur­phy (D) said:

“As my col­leagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the po­lit­i­cal sup­port of the gun in­dus­try is worth the blood that flows end­lessly onto the floors of Amer­i­can churches, el­e­men­tary schools, movie the­aters and city streets.” Chris Mur­phy, you need to shut up! You and all the other hate­ful Democrats pull this stunt every time there is a mass

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.