Sound Off: NFL Boycott?

It feels like forever since I’ve written a blog post,  but truly it’s been over a week. I hope everyone had an amazing Summer. Football is officially back and of course I’m all about that black and yellow #SteelerNation. Who will make it to the Super Bowl? Will anyone have an undefeated season? Aside from those basic questions every season, there’s been a lot of conversation surrounding boycotting the NFL. I for one will not be participating in that.

Last season Colin Kaepernick, former starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ters, took a knee during the national anthem. That gesture caused absolute uproar and at this current time he’s not on a team. Could it be because of his actions? Probably. Is that a reason to boycott? Why all the fuss to begin with?

I completely understand why Kaepernick did what he did. I don’t agree with how he went about it, but I understand. He has a platform to bring awareness to police brutality. Why not do it on the grandest stage with millions watching? He decided to not only do it with millions watching, but during the national anthem. His actions have been deemed the ultimate form of disrespect to this country.

Could he have gone about his protest a different way? Absolutely. I have so many questions about this as to why he did it when he did. As to why he did it, I get that. When you really listen to the national anthem and what is being said, it does not speak to all American citizens. History shows that. “Land of the free, home of the brave.” Not everyone feels that is the case. Disregarding the national anthem as Kaepernick did not only disrespects the nation, but it rubs military families and vets the wrong way. The national anthem is a symbolism of all they have done and someone disrespecting it will never sit well with them.

Now, what are these NFL boycotts? Well there’s one for people that plan to “boycott” the NFL because Kaepernick is not on a team right now. They feel that the NFL is unjust. First off, the NFL is unjust in many ways. At the end of the day, it’s a business. Kaepernick, before he took a knee, was rarely on the field. For what he did, he knew that there would be consequences for his actions. I honestly wish he would have went about his demonstration differently. There are other ways he could have used his platform without disrespecting the national anthem. Was Kaepernick disruptive? No. Ultimately, regardless of what he’d done, he still would have received backlash. Its a “damned if you, damned if you don’t” situation.

For those that want to boycott the NFL, good for them. I’m not going to stop watching. The NFL is going to make money regardless of viewership. To hit them where it hurts, boycott the sponsors. What did people expect to happen though. As a player, your job is football. You are a representation of that organization. Making moves like that with the ownership that the NFL has is obvious of what would happen, termination. Whatever reason he’s not playing, his actions last season whether they’re supported or not, played a huge factor.

NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown gave his two cents on the Kaepernick situation and he stated a number of points that I agree with.

Colin has to make up his mind whether he’s truly an activist or he’s a football player.

He went on to elaborate much more in the interview, but this point stands out to me. Kaepernick has the right to stand up for what he believes in. When football players are drafted, football becomes their job. Yes, they make a lot of money. Yes, they gain millions of fans, but still football is their job. The field is a business. He has other ways, off the field, that he can show his disdain for what’s happening in the society. He does not have to push those feelings aside. Business is business.

Who knows if Kaepernick will play again. From what I’ve been following this past Summer, he’s on a different path. He’s out here lobbying for a career. Other people are doing that for him. I hope that everything works out for him, but there’s so many other reasons to boycott the NFL. Not just because Kaepernick is not playing.

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