NFL Follies: “Billion dollar teams choosing to fail rather than sign Kaepernick is a scandal for reasons beyond wins and losses.”


I’m told that the national concussion league’s playoffs begin this weekend, moving from wild cards and betting lines toward the inevitable Stupor Bowl, which exists for otherwise intelligent people to indulge their childlike glee while comparing the merits of advertisements designed to relieve them of their money.

Meanwhile, Dave Zirin remains the only sportswriter who matters, because he writes about things that … matter.

Zirin places sports into a context, as a part of life, not removed from it. I only wish he had time to bring the same skill set to beer writing, which is in a wretched condition these days.

As a prelude to Zirin, consider this: Colts fans offended by anthem kneeling could receive refunds under legislative proposal.

Colts management tanked its season after it became obvious Andrew Luck wouldn’t return — but fans are strongly urged to be outraged by freedom of expression and civil rights, not the team’s ineptitude.

Uh huh.

The NFL Chose to Tank Its Season Rather Than Sign Colin Kaepernick, by Dave Zirin (The Nation)

Billion dollar teams choosing to fail rather than sign Kaepernick is a scandal for reasons beyond wins and losses.

… That is why the sports story of 2017 was how many NFL teams chose to flush their seasons, screw their fan bases, and gut the local economies that had lavished them with tax payer dollars rather than sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick

… This matters not only because it reveals the moral rot of a league that would sign abusers of women before people who have given time and money to organizations that empower women or a league that lives in fear of the tweets of a racist autocrat with a 32 percent approval rating. It matters because so many of the above teams cited have stadiums at least partially built on the public dime. Whether you are a sports fan or not, you are subsidizing these organizations. By fielding an inferior product, that means fewer fans in the seats, fewer people in the bars and restaurants, fewer rooms filled at the hotels. It means that the always exaggerated bang-for-your-buck that comes from subsidizing a stadium was muted just so NFL owners could send a shot across the bow to other players that political talk would not be tolerated. Of course, all they did was spur more resistance.

Kaepernick’s current collusion lawsuit against the NFL should not be complicated. It should be as basic as showing videotape from the 2017 season and asking the question, “Why would multiple NFL teams with playoff hopes willingly choose to tank rather than sign me? Why was Tom Savage put under center only to be concussed?” To even ask the question is to answer it: the Bob McNairs and John Elways of the world hate the idea of a free-thinking, openly anti-racist player more than they love the idea of winning a Super Bowl. That damns this league as much as hiding concussion data, and ignoring instances of violence against women. It’s more evidence that the league’s moral compass points in one direction: it’s not toward money and it’s not toward winning. It’s toward remaking this country in their political image: an image where billionaires make the decisions and the rest of us just shut up, work, and salute on demand.