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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Colin Kaepernick’s day in collusion court won’t help the NFL with its fans

If you’ve ever had a relative who just wouldn’t pipe down and let a tension-causing topic rest at a family function you probably can empathize with how the NFL and its owners must feel about former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as they meet today to discuss what to do about the firestorm the outspoken and out-of-work player created.

Only the league and the owners can’t laugh off the source of their ills as someone perhaps having had one too many adult beverages as the basis for their annoyance. Kaepernick is now seeking arbitration for his collusion NFL players kneelingcomplaint which virtually guarantees the subject will live on, at least through the end of this season and possibly well into future ones.

Naomi Lim of the Washington Examiner reported, “NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Sunday filed a grievance under the league's collective bargaining agreement, alleging executives colluded against him and prevented the free agent from re-signing with another team.

“’If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made greater theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government,’ Kaepernick's lawyer Mark Geragos said in a statement.

“’Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation.’”

By “darkest days” we infer Kaepernick means slavery, though it should be pointed out the peculiar institution was abolished by the ratified 13th Amendment at the end of 1865, one-hundred and fifty-two years ago. Colin Kaepernick has never been nor ever could have been a “slave” – he just wants everyone to think his situation is analogous.

A good argument could be advanced that America’s “darkest days” have reemerged in the past couple years in watching the left’s hysterical screaming, wailing, convulsing and violent protests over candidate and now president Donald Trump.

It should additionally be noted that Mark Geragos is the perfect barrister to bring Kaepernick’s complaint forward as the sleazy lawyer was convicted wife and unborn child murderer Scott Peterson’s representative – and he also defended Michael Jackson from child sex abuse charges. There are more famous Geragos regulars but it would take an entire column to talk about all of them – to synopsize, if some culturally challenged sewer-dwelling celebrity needs a licensed BAR sanctioned apologist, Geragos is your guy.

Maybe Geragos only took the Kaepernick case because he wants to sign-up Harvey Weinstein as a client. Geragos doesn’t chase ambulances, per se, but high profile scumbag entertainers seem to be his specialty nonetheless.

It’s odd Kaepernick would try going the legal route in moving against a professional sports league that already provided him with tens of millions of dollars in salary and endorsements just for prancing around in tight pants throwing a ball, all the while allowing him to run his mouth even when it was noticeably hurting the sport’s reputation and bottom line (TV ratings). The former signal-caller is definitely known best for his flag insults but ever since he broke into the NFL Kaepernick drew more than his fair share of media attention for his very visible tattoo repertoire and off-field antics as well.

It’s not surprising now but Kaepernick’s always had a chip on his shoulder about something. In the beginning of his career he didn’t like being portrayed as a run-first quarterback; he also didn’t like having to compete for the starting job with a guy who was drafted first overall in the league (Alex Smith, now with the Kansas City Chiefs); he was mad at the NCAA, too, because he didn’t receive much recruiting attention from major programs…the list goes on and on.

But perhaps the weirdest part is Kaepernick’s asserting that he has a right to “principled and peaceful political protest” within the context of his quarterbacking duties. Is dissing the flag actually a political protest? I thought it was just intended to “raise awareness” of police brutality and racism, not disparage America or its president.

Good luck to Geragos and Kaepernick in convincing an arbitrator that 32 NFL team owners got together as a group to blackball the barely-producing quarterback. Such an undertaking would entail getting in the minds of each team’s management to reveal a specific bias against an individual who has all but confessed he hates his country and doesn’t care what the fans think of his behaviors. It’d be like trying to show the owners of McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King joined together to deny a PETA member employment because the guy hates their food.

For what it’s worth, Democrat presidential has-been Hillary Clinton thinks Kaepernick’s got a right to spout off. Last week Hillary declared she’s with the original whiner and the pregame soiled-knee brigade. Ari Gilberg reported in the New York Daily News, “The former presidential candidate pledged her support to the hundreds of NFL players who have protested during the national anthem this season while speaking at the University of California, Davis.

“’Let's be clear, those players aren't protesting the national anthem or the flag,’ Clinton said. ‘They're protesting racism and injustice, and they have every right to do so!’

“The 2016 Democratic nominee received a loud applause after her announcement.”

For those unfamiliar UC Davis is in northern California not far from ultra-leftist beatnik paradise San Francisco so there probably were many Kaepernick fans in attendance at her little talk. Crooked Hillary loves a favorable audience and judging by her recent tour around the country – and abroad -- she’s out for more than just to sell books. Though Hillary repeatedly claims she has no interest in running for president again her campaign-like comportment seems to belie her public denials. Why else would anyone go to hear her speak?

Roger L. Simon at PJ Media thinks the whole Harvey Weinstein affair might have been revealed recently to tamp down Hillary for president rumors. Simon wrote the other day, “Hillary Clinton has been running around the country, promoting her book while blaming everyone and everything conceivable for her defeat and acting as if she might decide to run again.  What a disaster for the Democrats -- like a nightmare that would never go away. Sure defeat once again.  What to do? How to shut this woman up and finally make her go away, maybe let the Democrats win again?

“Well, one way might be to clean house.  The long and cozy relationship between Weinstein and the Clintons is well known.  Nothing could hurt ‘feminist’ Hillary more than to be publicly linked once again with a rapist. Yuck.”

Yuck indeed, though Crooked Hillary doesn’t seem bothered by the prospect of being associated with Colin Kaepernick and the anti-America crowd. It just goes to show, once again, that she and the Democrats still don’t get what happened to them last year. Hillary keeps trying to conquer through division knowing that most of America sides with Trump on the merits of the NFL flag protests. The fans most upset about the offensive gestures are those “deplorables” who care about things like patriotism, religion and guns.

It’s not that honest Americans are deaf to the concerns of NFL players, some of whom probably grew up in single-parent homes under extremely challenging economic circumstances. If they came from the country’s inner cities they no doubt witnessed confrontations between suspects and police, a good many questionable interrogations (at least in their eyes) and “injustice” in the differences in wealth between the haves and have-nots.

It could be said the average fan understands the players’ protests better than the media does.

But the NFL players – as demonstrated by Kaepernick and his ridiculous collusion charge – aren’t listening to the other side of the argument either. The NFL fans I know like (or liked) the league for the thrill of its athletic exhibitions but also because it’s a place where one could go to enjoy a few hours of good old fashioned America.

In baseball, the celebrated seventh-inning stretch includes the singing of “Take me out to the ballgame,” a refrain that almost everyone knows but would probably never sing outside of a ballpark setting. It’s a unity gesture, a sign of oneness with the fans sitting next to you and also those packed in the bleacher seats hundreds of feet away. Fans get it. So do baseball players.

There’s an emotional attachment related to such traditions. It’s that “attachment” that is most threated by the NFL players’ insensitive protests.

Former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich summed it up at the Washington Examiner, “[T]here is another negative form of fan reaction [to the NFL flag protests] as well. And this one is more difficult to quantify.

“It's about ratcheting back one's emotional attachment. After all, such attachment is the currency for any athletic enterprise. It is what makes you look forward to Sunday afternoons, and what brings you joy or depression at the final gun. In tangible terms, it concerns whether fans will continue to rearrange their lives in order to accommodate professional football. That this decision has become a close call for a percentage of the paying customers spells trouble for a wildly successful commercial operation that was, until recent years, the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg. The size of future eggs will depend on whether all parties to the matter are able to lower the temperature and begin to listen to each other.”

It’s safe to say NFL fans across the country would have a better chance to jumpstart their withering emotional connection to professional football if the participants would clarify what it is they (and the league and the owners) really want. Ban all police? Sensitivity training? More taxpayer money to distribute to the downtrodden? Obamacare? Socialism? Black Lives Matter representatives in the president’s cabinet?

Hillary said players have a right to protest – who denies it? They can hold up signs on any street corner and passersby will gladly allow them their few seconds of contemplation unmolested.

But unless NFL players can articulate what their end-goal is in all of this, they’ll continue to be shunned and the game will suffer irreparable damage. Colin Kaepernick’s “collusion” grievance isn’t going to help matters – and time is running out for the purveyors of protest to figure it out.

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NFL Protests

What the NFL players are doing by refusing to stand for the National Anthem is insulting America itself, which means insulting the fans. It really is that simple. There is no "protest" but rather an f-you from the players and ultimately the league that refuses to stop them. Police or racism or even Trump have little to do with it except as an excuse.

And this from people working for a league which pays them handsomely to entertain the people they are insulting.

Oh, and freedom of speech ends on private property. The players have no right to protest on private property, and especially not while on the clock. Would anyone let a group invade their back yard to hold a protest march? And can normal people insult their company's customers while on the clock? Freedom of speech does not mean a right to a platform.

Why is the NFL so afraid? They know that a.the winds have been blowing leftward for some time and they figure it will continue once the hiccup of the election of 2016 will blow over.
b.They figure the country is going to be changing demographically and they figure they can get on the "right side" of it by supporting minorities against the Joe Sixpackers who watch the NFL.
c.They are afraid of angering the radical left media, where so much of their money derives.
d.They are afraid of angering Democrats and those who would pass laws restricting the NFL in the interest of "player safety" and whatnot. This includes a fear of angering players who may bring lawsuits over concussions and whatnot.

But they miscalculated as the public is growing increasingly angry at all of this radicalism, from Black Lives Matter to transgenderism to homosexual marriages to alien invasions. And now the one thing they could do to forget the endless assault on the values and lives and very existence has been infected.

Until the league takes firm, concrete action against this and makes it clear they are on the side of the fans and not their spoiled brat employees then they are going to continue to lose money and fans.