15 Sep Kaepernick-What the Media, Sportscasters and Lawyers All Get Wrong
Kaepernick-What the Media, Sportcasters and Lawyers All Get Wrong
This was to be a weekly blog but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep it to one per week. Too much is going on and so with all the topics vying for first place to write about you are likely wondering why I would write about Colin Kaepernick (CK hereafter) of the San Francisco 49ers and his refusal to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. I had no intention of weighing in on this controversy but it crosses too many lines to ignore. Those lines deal with faith, politics, the media and this election-everything this blog is committed to covering and, when necessary, exposing.
Everything about this issue has been covered-that is, on the fringes. People have said that CK has a right to do this and we can respond by not watching the 49ers (who I turned off Monday night as soon as the cameras focused the entire National Anthem on CK and his cohorts). People can take and burn the jerseys of players who have joined CK as did some Denver Bronco fans with the jersey of Brandon Marshall. But in the end, everyone falls back on CK’s constitutional right under the first amendment to express himself as he has done. Even Obama has touted CK’s alleged right and is proud of him for doing so. Of course we all know just how much Obama loves the constitution since, after all he’s a constitutional lawyer, right? Not.
And Obama simply can’t resist entering into a fray that has nothing to do with his duties as President. Of course when he does, meaning every time he picks up his pen or lubricates his mouth on black issues, he’s been wrong. Every time, whether it’s Freddie Gray, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, etc., he’s wrong and frankly, has earned the moniker, Racist-in-Chief. But he’s also wrong, as is every lawyer, sportscaster and media pundit who contend that CK has a constitutional right to disgrace the National Anthem and here’s why.
NFL players play under a contract. The contract states what rights they have and don’t have. It’s no different than any other employment situation where, in return for compensation, there are some things you can’t do or say that you would otherwise be able to do or say outside that employment. Just one obvious example is the military. In exchange for the compensation and other benefits associated with being in the military, you don’t get to say things about officers, commanders and the President or do things that you could do if you hadn’t enlisted. It’s that simple. CK only has a much right to do what he does because the NFL hasn’t seen fit to limit his expression-something it could otherwise do. You must wear the uniform prescribed and you can’t alter it. Why not? Because the rules you play under don’t permit it. Would you be able to wear the uniform you want if you weren’t in a contract with the NFL? Of course you could.
Could you express yourself with all the joy and celebration out on some street corner because of a happy development in your life? Absolutely. So why do you get a 15 yard penalty then for “Excessive Celebration” in the NFL? Don’t you have a constitutional right to celebrate? Nope. Point number one, CK only has the rights the NFL lets him have and thus far they have simply chosen not to limit his expression. He has no constitutional right though, so just shut up Obama.
Point number two is this. Just because the player has a contract doesn’t mean he has a right to play. Any coach could bench an embarrassment like Kaepernick, or better yet trade the guy. But the 49ers, with a noticeable air of political correctness, also underscore his supposed right. For Brandon Marshall, his Century Link endorsement contract just ended-meaning that those who are either offended by or see the endorsers’ behavior having a negative effect on their product or service have no obligation to continue with the relationship. Why not? Because the player doesn’t get all the benefits of the endorsement contract and keep the right to offend the party paying for their endorsement. Since no coach or management has any responsibility to play anyone, a team that won’t discipline its own players for such disrespect is a team I will choose to not respect. Down goes viewership and down go the amount advertisers would be willing to pay.
Finally, what is CK’s real reason for his antics? This much we know. It’s not social injustice (whatever the heck that useless phrase means). CK leads a privileged life with all the attention and adoration he receives. At a salary of19 million/yr. and a 12 million signing bonus, he certainly can’t gripe about income disparity. So what is it? The answer is that this summer he has apparently converted to Islam. When asked, he neither admits nor denies it but chooses to simply extol the virtues of Islam. Engaged or closely attached to a Muslim girl, Nessa Diab, he likely converted since Muslims are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims. The hatred deep within the black lives matter movement is a natural bedfellow of the hatred within the Muslim community for the US and the principles upon which it was founded. It’s a short step and he has apparently taken it. Isn’t it interesting that we don’t hear a peep out of CK though until he becomes a Muslim and then Obama is championing CK’s “constitutional rights?” We have yet another glimpse how Sharia law lines up with our constitution. It doesn’t.
So what would Obama’s response be if Tom Brady comes off his suspension in a few weeks with the New England Patriots and emerges with a “Trump” bumper sticker affixed to his helmet? That would be hate speech.