Conduct of some NFL owners tarnishes the league

Many NFL owners are brilliant businessmen. Most are billionaires and usually, to protect their wealth, they seek state and federal stadium subsidies. They get their way by becoming loyal supporters of politicians in Washington.

Some of them have had issues with our president, Donald Trump, but with the congressional body of Washington politics, both the House and Senate, they get along just fine. That’s how these great stadiums get financed across the country.

Taxpayers support these bills that are passed locally. The NFL promises you a future Super Bowl, and venues like U.S. Bank Stadium get built.

(l-r): Eric Reed and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee as national anthem plays

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(MGN Online)

We see annually how players are suspended for violating substance abuse policies. The Vikings lead the NFL with two such suspensions in 2018. DWIs and domestic abuse issues can also lead to such suspensions.

Last year, NFL owners started colluding to keep NFL players out of the league for their involvement in demonstrating against the widespread cases of police brutality and social injustice. After a flurry of Black men being shot down during routine traffic stops, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, formerly with San Francisco, the team he guided to the Super Bowl a few years ago, was denied free agency offers all of last year.

He received no offers from NFL teams. Why? Because he chose to stand up and fight by taking a knee. Kaepernick is now suing the league for collusion through a grievance filed against the NFL.

His former teammate, Eric Reid, a Pro Bowl safety as a rookie and former first-round pick, has not received any free agent offers so far this season. He has joined Kaepernick in protesting demonstrations as teammates. Now he has hired attorney Mark Geragos, who represents Kaepernick, and has also filed a collusion grievance.

It’s not always what you suspect or believe that matters; it’s what you can prove, and proving two NFL teams or the NFL and one of its teams agreed not to sign him will not be easy. However, it’s clear to most that the owners have agreed to back away from these guys.

Many over the last year have mischaracterized the demonstrations by many players as National Anthem protests. President Donald Trump called the players unpatriotic and said the owners should “fire their ass.”

Several NFL owners have made glaring mistakes. Washington owner Daniel Snyder has been labeled a blatant racist. He says his team’s name, the Redskins, honors Native Americans. Houston owner Robert McNair has made racist statements. Jerry Richardson of Carolina has been forced to sell his team because of sexual misconduct allegations.

With great wealth and power you can stand above and be forgiven for mistakes. Some owners just move on to the next league meeting. No one forces their hand or demands they stand and admit their wrongdoing.

The players, however, pay a great price. It’s truly sad the number-one game of football and the NFL, like our society in general, has so many glaring issues that must be addressed.