Several NFL owners decided to rebuke the recent statements by President Donald Trump about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. Trump initially said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out, you’re fired!”
In a show of solidarity against Trump’s hateful, racist, and misogynist words, a few NFL owners locked arms with players and coaches as the national anthem was sung before games on Sept. 24. All of the owners in the NFL, save for Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers, decided to either stand with players or issue a statement to address Trump’s speech.
However, the NFL owners who took a stand this past weekend should be viewed as hypocrites. There are 32 teams in the NFL and every single team chose to pass on picking up former NFL player Colin Kaepernick who remains unemployed. A few teams have elite quarterbacks and are solid at the position. But there’s also a multitude of teams who chose to sign subpar quarterbacks that aren’t statistically better than Kaepernick.
In a sense, the owners are practicing what Trump has preached. Kaepernick has been blackballed for taking a stance against racial violence by kneeling during the national anthem. The owners continued to ignore and dismiss Kaepernick with the hopes that controversy could be avoided without him on the field. But their failures to properly address why Kaepernick was not given an opportunity has come back to haunt them.
Trump’s hateful views added words to exemplify the NFL owners’ hateful actions. He was able to express their actions in a way that forced them to finally address the one thing that all of them wanted to avoid, because the owners don’t want to appear divisive while operating in a business that leans heavily on inclusion. The NFL owners are seeking to protect their investment by locking arms with players and putting on an appearance that would suggest that they care.
But if they really wanted to live by their actions, they wouldn’t need to put on a show to prove that they are against Trump’s words. They all have the ability to sign Kaepernick to a contract today. There are 32 men who have the power to actually do what’s right.