It’s bad enough that a beloved American sport has been forever tarnished by the antics of a player who could not gracefully accept his team’s refusal to re-sign him and the air-headed copycats who began to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem out of sympathy.
But to add insult to injury, the NFL agreed this past week to “address social justice issues considered important to African-American communities.” How? By diverting $89 million earmarked by for two worthwhile causes — Salute to Service or Breast Cancer Awareness — to “projects dealing with criminal justice reform, law enforcement/community relations and education.”
Shortchanging legitimate causes to mollify a bunch of overpaid jocks should enrage any American who still tunes in to the Sunday games. But at least now that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has sold the league’s soul, the fans who are left can rest easy in the knowledge that the displays of disrespect are over and done with, right? Surely you jest.
Eric Reid, strong safety for Colin Kaepernick’s onetime team, has accused the league of trying to “buy off” the protesters.
In fairness to Reid, who walked away from the bargaining table with the league, his arguments in an interview with Slate seem righteous: “We didn’t agree with that, because we weren’t trying to cut other worthy programs,” he said.
Reid gets credit for understanding that are causes that are more important than the imagined “open season” on young black men launched by the nation’s police departments during the Obama presidency. But where does he think the funds for the proposed $100-million social justice program will come from?
Here’s a suggestion. Reid could donate a portion of his own guaranteed $5,676,000 four-year salary toward a cause he finds important. Philadelphia Eagles free safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the other players negotiating with the league, could also afford to divert some of the $35,000,000 he is slated to earn over the next four years to the “cause.”