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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Kaepernick is only a fraction of the NFL’s problems


Everything is wrong with the NFL in 2017. The issues start with Colin Kaepernick but expand to other issues that make evident a disgusting culture in NFL front offices — and especially Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office — that is fueled by racism, greed and the toleration of violence. The culmination of these ugly truths paints the NFL as a picture with which I don’t want to spend my time or money.

It’s not a radical statement to say that Kaepernick should be on an NFL team right now. He’s better at playing quarterback than most quarterbacks currently holding a spot on NFL rosters. We could talk about his Quarterback Rating (QBR), the time he led a team to the Super Bowl and beat Tom Brady along the way or the fact that loads of NFL players have spoken out in solidarity with him, proving that he would be no nuisance in an NFL locker room, as many have insinuated.

Kaepernick’s “problem,” then, is that NFL owners feel he might hurt bottom lines, because racist fans might not pay to watch him play. The greedy culture of the NFL has fueled Kaepernick’s long unemployment, and is also a problem that affects other facets of the league that make it no fun to watch.

The NFL has a goal of hitting 25 billion dollars in annual revenue by 2027. This goal is the root of almost all of the league’s problems. The NFL can’t reach 25 billion dollars if Colin Kaepernick’s employment means racists won’t watch football, or if a star player physically or sexually abuses a woman and gets kicked off a team and, as a result, fans can’t buy his jersey or pay to watch him play. Likewise, the NFL surely won’t make 25 billion dollars in revenue 10 years from now if the truth about the severity of concussions is revealed to the general public.

All of these issues are covered up with bogus efforts and remarks that are somehow enough to keep NFL games the holiest American event on Sundays. Please, don’t argue that Colin Kaepernick actually isn’t good enough to be on an NFL roster. And no, wearing pink breast cancer socks for a month every season doesn’t mean the NFL cares about women.

Finally, slightly changing the rules for tackling standards isn’t going to save the lives of numerous offensive linemen who are going to deal with brain damage and depression due to the repetitive hits to the head that they take for a living.

Ultimately, though, these problems need to be addressed by consumers. People say they believe in greater punishments for players like Ezekiel Elliott, but Cowboys fans, for example, need to have the backbone not to watch or support the Cowboys this year if Elliott is playing.

The NFL is absurd this year, and it’s unclear how it could change for the better. In the meantime, pro sports fans: turn off the TV. We’ve got the World Series and the return of the NBA and NHL next month.

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