The National Football League's 32 owners are in trouble. This past Sunday, Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance against them for colluding to prevent him from ever playing another down in the NFL.
Of course, NFL pundits such as Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen are already making their rounds on ESPN to say Kaepernick has no case. "It makes some noise, but I haven't heard anybody say, 'Boy, he's really got a shot at this,'" Mortensen said during a recent SportsCenter newscast. "It's difficult to prove."
During the same segment, Schefter added, "You gotta wonder what long-term effect it may have on his opportunity to find another job. But he couldn't find a job anyway."
To the contrary, Kaepernick's grievance threatens to expose the plantation mentality of the owners. They have banded together to blackball the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback because of the player protests he began during the National Anthem to raise awareness of this country's oppression of minorities, especially African-Americans, who are recklessly killed by police.
The NFL owners will have to prove why mediocre and has-been quarterbacks such as former first-round bust Brandon Weeden can nab contracts but Kaepernick can't even get a tryout. Last season, he threw for 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions while playing for a team that won one game.
There's only one explanation. The owners don't want Kaepernick to stir shit up when he takes a knee during "The Star-Spangled Banner." Their response when Donald Trump attacked players who continue to take up Kaepernick's cause is further proof the owners are colluding with one another.
They all issued boilerplate press statements somewhat condemning Trump's remarks. They put on a dog-and-pony show by taking a knee or locking arms with players during the National Anthem. It was like an episode of Law & Order in which the owners played the good cops and Trump played the bad cop.
A week later, the owners changed their tune. Trump's BFF and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatened to sideline any player who protested during the National Anthem. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also said he wanted his players to stand because Trump "changed the whole paradigm" of the protests.
Are we supposed to believe that the owners didn't coordinate their responses to Trump's infringing on NFL players' right to protest peacefully? It's not that difficult to get 32 billionaires on a conference call to talk about potential revenue losses. They are like synchronized swimmers.
The owners are a bunch of hypocrites. The NFL began honoring the U.S. military only when Uncle Sam opened his pocketbook. A 2015 congressional oversight report revealed that the Department of Defense paid 14 NFL teams nearly $5.4 million in taxpayer money between 2011 and 2014 to put on elaborate “patriotic salutes.” If the owners were really patriotic, they would not be taking money from the armed services in order to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner." But don't expect to see that tidbit explained on NFL Today or ESPN.
Moreover, the NFL makes teams wear pink in October to raise awareness of breast cancer in women. Kaepernick is doing the same thing. He's drawing attention to the fact innocent black people are being killed by police. That makes him more of a patriot than the owners.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.
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