Korner: Colin Sues!
his advisers are on a hot roll here

MisterJonez sez,


But this anthem protest stuff has unexpectedly soured me on the NFL :-(  I wouldn't have thought, prior to the year's start, that I'd have been so down on the league for fostering what are reasonable protests.  But the introduction of politics into one of the FEW escapist outlets I take pleasure in has almost made me turn my back on them (I haven't watched a Seahawks game since Week 2.  I honestly don't know if I'll watch another game this year...).

And I even applaud the players for taking the stand, knowing (at least some of them KNOW, anyway) that they're hurting their earning power by doing so.  I respect and even admire that.  I can even respect and admire the cause they've chosen to champion (even though it's fairly obvious to me that cursory statistical examination invalidates nearly all of the protests' ideological linchpins) because I think it's great to be passionate.

I just find myself sufficiently turned off by it that I'd rather go swim in the pool with my kids, or take a motorcycle ride up the road, or play a video game than sit down and watch the NFL just now.  And that really makes me sadder than anything; the last couple years, during NFL season I've basically planned my family's weekly entertainment around it.


Dr. D will throw something out there --- > even though he doubts it will resonate.

In the 1970's, the NBA almost died - coke and parties and zero caring about W's and the fans got the vibe that the players were there to bank jack and party hearty.  Magic and Bird rescued the situation.  A few of you were there.

In 1994, the MLB player strikes also angered fans, though MLB fans were not nearly as ticked as 1970's NBA fans were then, or NFL fans are now.  A local ballclub, in 1995, had a whale of a lot to do with un-ticking the fans off.


A week or two ago, an NFL player said resentfully, "They can't make us stand up.  This league is a brotherhood."  Emphasis on brother.  It's just stating the obvious to acknowledge, in the NFL and NBA, that you have a lot of white fans.

That's kind of weird, because NFL players have not said Word One when (1) Marshawn's gold shoes got nixed for the Super Bowl, when (2) they wanted to commemorate 9/11 and the NFL nixed that, when (3) the NFL told them exactly how to dance in the end zone, when (4) the NFL fined a player for saying "Find The Cure" in his eye black, and (5) (6) (7) Telling the players to do absolutely anything it wanted them to do.  They never said Word One!

Now:  it's a brotherhood and the league has never been able to tell them what to do.  Hokay.  None of those things above - Marshawn's shoes, Breast Cancer eye black, etc - would have ACTUALLY alienated customers but now that the players ARE alienating customers, now the NFL has no workplace authority?


Anyway.  It's a brotherhood, is it.  Is Jeff Clarke in that brotherhood?  Of course he is not.  He knew that already, but he had not yet had his nose rubbed in it by the players.

There comes a time when you make your contempt for the fan a little TOO obvious.  And then the fans may react.


I would "boycott" (sic) the NFL if the Seahawks were anything less than what they are.  But since they happen to have about 12 Pro Bowlers, I'll root for them in a selfish, exploitative way.  No loyalty attached.  I'll watch the Seahawks while it serves my purposes to do so.  How's that for square, Richard.



What's really going on is that nobody wants a sideshow at backup quarterback.  But how that translates into a court case, I haven't the slightest.  

It is perfectly reasonable for the Mariners to want Willie Bloomquist or Taylor Motter as their #25 roster player, as opposed to wanting Lucas Leutge or Randy Johnson or John Rocker.  But I expect the league would try to win the court case without touching on that point.

Nobody wants Kaepernick.  As a Seahawk fan, you don't.  His sideshow politics ruled him out of consideration as Tim Tebow's did.  But I dunno how you argue that in court.  Just point to Kapernick's passer rating, I guess?


I saw something about Kaepernick Tweeted he would stand if signed, and then his girlfriend Tweeting a day later that he would not.  I assume I heard that wrong?  :: yowch ::

My $0.02,

Dr D




If you want to understand why so many NFL fans...even some liberal ones...are rolling their eyes and moving on from Football for a while, look at the ratings of the Hallmark Channel.

I think the network puts out some solid, albeit saccharine, story-telling. It's comfortable, familiar, honest, and genuine. It is also a series of stories set in worlds filled with normal people with normal people problems. There are no politics larger than city council or school board fights. The morals they communicate are simple - sometimes overly simple - but feel true to a wide range of ideological perspectives.

They're one of the most-watched cable networks, now.


Because people hate the world we're living in with a burning passion. Hate it. Hate the anger, hate the constant rhetoric on the news, hate the talking heads, hate the lies and the exaggerations, and the fear-mongering...hate the wars, the terrorism, and the madness on Capitol Hill. Left, right, and in-between, people are sick and tired of this world and its incredibly frustrating problems. The Hallmark channel sends you to a place that you can love again.

The NFL does too. The city of Pittsburgh has almost nothing going well for it right now. Its industry is in ruins, its politics are painfully corrupt, and its people are moving to Ohio for jobs. The infrastructure is hideous and fading fast. But they have the Steelers. The teams means something very, very important to the city...I'm not sure Seattle sports fans understand why that is...in Seattle, sports are just for fun and the city is thriving. In Pittsburgh, it's the one thing they can all agree on...it represents them and everything they're fighting to revive and protect.

And then the team refused to come out for the National Anthem.

Can any of you folks who defend the kneeling protest really grasp how badly that hurts in a place that is struggling as mightily as Pittsburgh is? How devastating it is to morale?

I probably won't be watching any NFL games this year unless they are on in the background, and, if I throw my annual Super Bowl party, it won't be for the football...it'll be because my friends and family still need an excuse to come together and hang out. I'll just go watch the Hallmark channel and pretend for two hours that the world doesn't suck.

M'sFan4Lyfe's picture

...Of predominantly black players playing for rich, white owners. That makes it inherently political. If we are going to empathize with the morale of Pittsburghers (66% white) having to witness a protest, can we not also empathize with the message of the players that there's a systemic problem in this country with disproportionate police brutality and racial inequality? Am I alone in thinking that the latter is a far, far greater cause of concern? I personally can't equate black people having unequal access to higher education and being gunned down in the streets with viewers of a television product having to observe a televised political statement they disagree with.

Matt to your earlier point of escape, that is indeed the (completely understandable) reality so many of us are living in. Politics has gotten so ugly in this country, why wouldn't we check out? I've deleted Twitter a couple times because keeping up with the constant barrage of local/national/global current events diminishes my well-being.

The tough thing, though, is that healthy democracies DEPEND on citizen engagement. That's where I struggle - knowing that I should still be an active part of the political process to contribute what I can, while feeling so defeated by it. Politics CAN be a positive force for good in this country, but I'm not sure how we get back to that.



++ I personally can't equate black people having unequal access to higher education and being gunned down in the streets with viewers of a television product having to observe a televised political statement they disagree with. ++

Neither. Can. Anybody.  Else.

Politics can be a positive force for good in this country, but the way back will involve our giving just a smidddddgeon of benefit of the doubt to those who disagree with us.

The good news is Nick, literally every single white man reading this, sincerely and passionately wants life to be better for black men in America.  As well as for white men.  From that starting point we've got a lot to work with.  :- )


...is why I'm checked out of politics.

I'm very...very tired of the samctimony and the uncharitable assumptions flying around on all sides.

And no, I reject the notion that the NFL is inherently political. Football is a game no one is forced to play. Those who do play it do so because they're talented and can make lots of money doing so.

RickM82's picture

First sentence:

Of predominantly black players playing for rich, white owners.

Change to “Of prominently rich black players playing for rich, white owners”

These guys are in the one percent. Generally every one percenter hooks up with someone richer than he. That’s economics. Stop pretending they work on a plantation. If you don’t want to work on Maggie’s Farm no more, then there’s the door. No hard feelings.

But that is not the issue. The owners are on the side of the players. They aren’t cracking down. They are allowing the subcontractors destroy the product.





I never did understand the whole 'the owners are richer so there's a massive power disparity between them and the players' idea from which so many arguments arise.

The players have a union that specifically looks out for their rights and earning power (except in this case--I sincerely hope that whoever is in charge of the NFLPA gets axed HARD over this if/when the salary cap fails to rise as much over the next few years as it had during the last few), and as you say they're all in the top 1%.  Hard for me to get worked up when we're talking about grown men playing ballgames on international TV and making generational wealth for their time and trouble.


Kaepernick went 5-2 as a starter in '12, with a QB rating that put him 8th among qualifiers.

However, from '13-'16 he ranked 21st, 20th, 31st, and 17th.  His 49ers went 12-4, 8-8, 2-6, 1-10. 

He is 3-16 as a starter over the past two seasons, with a middling ranking.  The question, then, isn't why he isn't signed, but why any team would bring in the PR nightmare that Kaepernick, recently a middling QB, has become.  Nobody colluded to make him that, he brought it on himself.  in essence, Kaepernick's behavior shined poorly on his employer and other potential employers noticed. They have every right to do so, btw.

Really like the Tebow comparison, doc.  And I'm with Matt, I'm just choosing not to watch.

And btw, it may well be the case that the point of Kaepernick's protest is just mostly wrong:  A great read:



Having considered the situation carefully, I have decided that --- > Colin Kaepernick meant to say America Sucks.  That it sucks so much that its flag should not be saluted.  And that the reason for this is because white people, loosely speaking, suck ("oppressing black people").

I have decided to respond to this by telling Colin Kaepernick to, um, get a grip.  He's a millionaire with a great life, and our society is very hospitable to minority groups.  Kaepernick says what he wants, I say what I want.

As with Kathy Griffin, I imagine he thought he'd be celebrated as a courageous social justice warrior.  Didn't turn out that way.  Personally I think people SHOULD think twice before telling other entire classes of people that they suck, and it appears that in the future they will think a bit more and grandstand a bit less.


I have my own beefs with police profiling too; I'm not going to handle them by painting our entire country with as broad a brush as Kaepernick wants to do.  I love America as the greatest nation on earth, while criticizing its problems sharply, and hope the next SJW down the line takes a similar tack.  It probably won't best be accomplished by refusing to salute the nation's flag.

If I'm Colin Kaepernick, my next step is probably an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, followed by some great football in the CFL while re-building my resume.  But that's me :- )


I pulled it up.  As you know, we live to serve.  The collective bargaining agreement has a whole chapter on collusion.  The pertient part:

Ch. 17: Collusion Section 1. Prohibited Conduct:

(a) No Club, its employees or agents shall enter into any agreement, express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club, its employees or agents to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making as follows:

(i) whether to negotiate or not to negotiate with any player;

(ii) whether to submit or not to submit an Offer Sheet to any Restricted Free Agent;

(iii) whether to offer or not to offer a Player Contract to any player;

(iv) whether to exercise or not to exercise a Right of First Refusal; or

(v) concerning the terms or conditions of employment offered to any player for inclusion, or included, in a Player Contract.

No Club may have a policy not to negotiate with, or enter into a Player Contract with, any player who is free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any Club, on any of the following grounds, if such policy is inconsistent with Section 1 above:

(a) that the player has previously been subject to the exclusive negotiating rights obtained by another Club in a College Draft, by virtue of a Required Tender to a player with less than three Accrued Seasons, or a Franchise Player designation; or

(b) that the player has refused or failed to enter into a Player Contract for a prior season containing a Right of First Refusal or an option clause (i.e., any clause that authorizes an extension or renewal by a Club of a Player Contract beyond its stated term);

(c) that the player has become a Restricted Free Agent or an Unrestricted Free Agent; or

(d) that the player is or has been subject to any Right of First Refusal.

Section 3. Club Discretion:

Section 2 above does not diminish any Club’s right not to negotiate or contract with any particular player on any policy ground not specified above. In conjunction with other evidence of an alleged violation(s) of Section 1, a Club’s adherence to a policy identified in Section 2 above may be offered as evidence of an alleged violation of Section 1 above, but may not be the basis of any separate proceeding seeking any penalty or other relief against any Club or the NFL.

The person claiming collusion has to prove his case by a "clear preponderance of the evidence" and that preponderance of the evidence has to be based on something more than the player's skills and the fact that he wasn't offered a contract.  This is at Art. 17 sections 5 and 6.  

What does all this mean?

Clubs have to talk to a player's agents, and consider the player, but are not under any obligation to sign that player.  Clubs cannot reach an agreement with other clubs not to sign the player.  I think there can be a grievance if either the clubs won't negotiate with a player or if there is an agreement not to sign a player.  In Kaepernick's case, his lawyer said that they negotiated with all thirty two teams, and were filing the grievance under a collusion theory.

The grievance itself is not public.  That means we don't get to see the smoking E-mail where every team agreed not to sign Kaepernick despite his overpowering football skills.  Maybe there is such an Email.  I doubt it.  If there was, the lawyer, Gregarious would have said so during his press conference.  He talked about Donald Trump instead.  

I think that Kaepernick's case is probably a loser unless he has awesome evidence that his swaggering lawyer didn't mention. (The chances of that are nil) I think that filing a grievance is probably a good idea if he wants another NFL job, but a bad idea if he wants to avoid being ridiculed for fifty years.  The grievance is a good idea because Kaepernick has stayed unemployed through the whole season.  Doing nothing hasn't worked out for him.  He is retired unless he does something splashy.  A grievance keeps him in the public perception, and maybe a team that needs a backup quarterback, or one that needs a shot of political correctness will give him a job.  All publicity is good publicity.  

The grievance is a bad idea because he will lose, and all the fans will remember him as the guy who was known more for his girlfriend's tweets than his play. 

I think that the truth of the matter is that Kaepernick never showed himself to be a next level special talent when he was a starter, he was caught drinking and smoking marijuana, and he started the anthem protest and opted out of a contract without having some other job lined up.  A quarterback is like an extra coach and a leader in the club house.  If the drama becomes too extreme, teams can pass because there are a lot of talented guys who will do what the org says and give a kidney for a backup QB job.  Also, there aren't that many QB jobs to be had.  Anyone in a special field will suffer severe repercussions for burning his bridges.  

My two cents.


tens of thousands of years ago.  It goes something like "Refrain from treating your dinner table like a toilet."

I have plenty of respect for Kaepernick doing what he did, knowing (or at least SOMEONE in his inner circle knew, and was sure to tell him) that it would cost him tens of millions of dollars.  That's a principled stand, and while I'm convinced that his conviction is based on falsehoods I still admire a man being willing to walk away from mountains of life-and-family-changing wealth in order to support something he believes strongly in.


I always wonder whether you use wit in the courtroom along with your wisdom.  LOL.


Incidentally, I hadn't thought of it quite that way, that filing a grievance and being ruled against, is worse than not filing one at all.  Better to remain silent and be thought a fool...

would that necessarily apply to his attorney, though?  maybe THAT guy comes out ahead in the deal...


Gary Andersen just walked away from $12M at oregon State University because he felt (according to his statements) it the principled thing to do.  That is highly admireable.

Kaepernick's protest was of a different sort, I think.  Using a poor analogy, he didn't walk away from his job as a fry cook at Mcdonalds because he wasn't getting the burgers done correctly, he protested sonething having nothing to do with his emloyer,  in his workplace, while at work, perhaps damaging his employer's brand (treating the dinner table like a toilet), and then complains that his employer essentially fired him.  I am not sure that is quite admireable. 

I don't quite buy that Kaepernick was willing to walk away from mountains of cash.  If so, then why file suit when the NFL obliges.  If he was so willing, then I think you're right.

Mostly, I think CK overplayed his hand.  He QB'ed a team to the Super Bowl once, It seems that he thought he was thusly guaranteed employment, regardless of his on-field behavior. 

There isn't anything much that allows you to seperate Kaepernick from a Tyrod Taylor or Trevor Siemian.  Given that, why hire him when other replacement parts are available.


But like I said above: SOMEONE in his inner circle was giving him advice that said, in no uncertain terms, he was going to lose HUGE piles of cash and ruin his brand value with a large contingent of the people who pay for him to play a game on national TV.  If he was too uninformed, too opinionated, or simply too thick-headed to recognize that advice as having merit then, yeah, my opinion lines up closer to what I understand yours to be on the issue.

But if he did realize there was a significant chance he'd destroy his career over this, and did it anyway, I respect that quite a bit.  I certainly wouldn't have that strength of character.

Still, a lot of my opinion of Kaep hinges directly on the issue of whether or not he was informed as to the possibility that he was risking future earnings by this stunt.  I guess I never proceed from the position that 'Person X is stupid and/or uninformed.'  That motto has definitely caused problems for me in the past, as it might do here, but I still prefer to start by assuming the people around me/interfacing with me are, generally speaking, rational actors capable of processing important information.

Then again, with all of the echo chambers and socio-political bubbles ossifying themselves in our social fabric, your theory might prove to be the correct one here.


Some points of agreement, and then a couple to ponder, if you're so inclined.

  • EXCELLENT link Moe, thanks muchly. I will admit that my personal echo chamber has lead me to rather blindly assume that there was some compelling evidence behind the BLM protests. I'm always a little leery of trusting studies published in strongly biased sources (this of course cuts both ways: Rachel Maddow is also a questionable citation to me), but I gingerly trust an upstanding outlet like the National Review to have their data straight. If so, wow, that is one fundamentally flawed argument. It helps me make sense out of why the kneeling protests seem to rub people the wrong way so badly.
  • My girlfriend will be applying to law school pretty soon, and that is just about the sum total of my legal expertise. However, I feel pretty confident in my initial reaction to hearing about Kap's grievance: a derisive snort. Okay Colin. Good luck proving that no one will hire you because of your political views, and not the fact that you haven't had your mental edge since Richard Sherman ate your lunch in the NFCCG, and then ate Turkey on your logo eleven months later. What a lame attempt to distract people from a mediocre history as a passer and a decided lack of the clutch gene.
  • As a separate issue, even if he's being blackballed for his political views, that's the owner's prerogative. Assuming there is no smoking-gun email that is at least as explicit as Rob Goldstone was about the Russians trying to collude with the Trump campaign, there's nothing to see here. NFL backup QBs are way closer to Willie Bloomquist than they are to actual NFL players. If you don't ooze grit, or you actually bring along baggage, don't expect many calls.
  • With that said, I do wish the Hawks had signed Kap when he visited a few months ago. My logic is thus: (Kap) > (Treyvone Boykin). Moreover, (misguided social protest that at least demonstrates some level of selflessness) > (repeated run-ins with law enforcement for public intoxication and violence). Even for the most conservative of thinkers, I would argue that a Hawks team with Kap as Wilson's backup would be better, and on firmer moral footing. If you can root for a team that employs Boykin, Frank Clark and Tom Cable, I would think you can root for them with Colin Kaepernick. I bet I'm wrong about that... but I have no idea why. Maybe someone could help me?
  • As for the chorus of voices saying the NFL has lost them... how can I put this delicately? It's your loss, not the NFL's. Seriously. I think if you allow thirty seconds of protest before the game even starts to put you off that badly, you're just looking at it wrong. There's a reason that athletes are the only celebrities left in America that everyone generally likes. It's because you aren't actually obligated to agree with their personal views to enjoy their physical prowess. It doesn't matter whether the guy on the field has your preferred stance on gun control, it just matters whether he's brave and resilient in the face of adversity. If you guys let Trump and Pence's crass little political feud with Kap derail your enjoyment of this country's most entertaining product, that's on you. Your lives will be a little bit less bright, and that will be a fitting punishment for being whatever the right-wing equivalent of snowflakes is, and rage-quitting just because your chosen entertainer offends your delicate sensibilities. I mean it in a good way, I swear. I'm just an equal opportunity scoffer. I scoff at safe spaces on college campuses, and I scoff at them in national anthems. To me, they look like to sides of the same coin. Think about it, is all I'm saying.

I had heard, it was John Clayton I think, say the same thing, that the complaint was a Quixotic act; good luck finding collusion among all 31 teams. But thanks to Mojician we have the actual language, which I would point out does not say “all” but “any,” which I take to mean one or more. So, if a team takes the prohibited action with any team or the NFL (as a single entity) it is a violation. It only takes two to tango. I also recall that someone pointed out that the remedy for violation was termination of the collective bargaining agreement – a reboot. That explains the limitation of remedies in Section 3. You can kill the agreement but you can’t sue us otherwise.

Given that we have just witnessed the spectacle of a ‘lifer’ NFL assistant coach be publicly humiliated by disclosure of a video of him snorting a white powder, which he imprudently sent to a woman he had ‘dated’ less than a month, I can certainly imagine an indiscreet email trail between a member of an NFL front office and someone at NFL HQ, or another team, dissing CK’s character, or worse. Now that would  be an interested development, if it opened the door for immediate renegotiation of the CBA, or even credibly threatened it. 


Unfortunately, I've thought about it a little bit in those exact terms and I don't think it applies to me.  You've gotta understand where I'm coming from...

I live in the Philippines.  I literally cannot watch MLB more than the occasional game (usually a Big Market team like NYY, BOS, LAD, etc..) whenever it doesn't get preempted by darts, or billiards, or badminton (you probably think I'm joking--I'm not.  Those sports get more airtime on major sports networks in this country than baseball will ever get).  I don't have access to good enough internet to be able to stream games on my computer, either, since I don't live in a major city (the only places with good enough internet infrastructure for a legitimate DSL line).  So start by understanding that when I first came over here a decade or so ago, I was a committed M's/baseball fan.  Knew all the best players, literally mumble things about WAR to myself unconsciously...that kinda stuff.

Ok, so then after getting here I needed to find something else for my sports fix, or I needed to give up the sports I'd come to enjoy altogether.  So I turned to the UFC which, fortunately, has a cable broadcast deal with local channels here (the channels have changed a couple times since I've been here) and I really grabbed hold of MMA as my MLB replacement.  It worked pretty great for about five years, and then the UFC brass started advocating for their Golden Boys instead of putting on competitive, compelling, title-relevant matches as often as possible.  They started pushing over-the-hill fighters back into title contention even when those fighters' merits hadn't earned them title shots, and they started giving Chosen Ones easy paths to the title while meat-grindering all of the guys the top brass didn't like.  There was even a truly staggering bit of corruption within their matchmaking which got revealed when, at one point, Brazilian fighters on Brazil-based cards had gone like 50-5 over a period spanning a couple of years.  This was almost entirely matchmaking, rather than fight fixing, but that one really shook my faith and ability to enjoy the UFC.

So then I turned to the NFL, right around the time the Seahawks started getting interesting again in 2012-2013.  And honestly, it's been the most fun I've had following a sports team since the early aughts M's.  I check OverTheCap 2-3x/week, load FieldGulls at least twice per day, and download all of the compressed games (or at least I *did* before this season) and would watch more than half of them each week, along with the Seahawks' game of the week.  So I think I'm not a Super Fan, but I am someone who has really taken hold of it and been happy to follow the Seahawks, and even the rest of the NFL.

This protest thing has hit me COMPLETELY SIDEWAYS.  I spent all last year defending Kaepernick's kneeling protest because I agree with his right to stand up (or not, as the case may be) for what he believes in.  Even to start this year, I was basically fine with, as you say, a minor disruption to the experience to start the games.  But somewhere around week three, inexplicably, my mood soured.  It seems like this is just another in a long line of moves by my chosen sports org/league to do whatever they can to disaffect me--and oddly enough, it appears to have worked!  I'm not up in arms about Kaep doing what he's done; I applaud him for putting principle before profit.  I'm not even angry with the rest of the players, or disappointed with the hometown crowd for glomming onto a movement built on demonstrably false assumptions.  I'm not *mad* about it at all, actually.  I'm disappointed, I'm disaffected, and I'm weary of my sports fandom inevitably turning this way.

But mostly, I'm just tired.

I'm tired of investing time, effort, and passion into things that are now obviously (to my mind) going to backfire on me.  I'd rather, as I said above, spend an afternoon with my kids in our pool, or take my two year old on ride up the road, or play a game of pinochle with friends and family.

When the NHL had their strike, Texas Hold 'Em became a phenomenon because it was cheap to license and there was airtime available.  I don't think anything so dramatic will happen to the NFL over this, but as someone who stands by the athletes' rights to protest as they see fit (and as someone who stands by the owners' rights to punish breaches of contract wherever and whenever they occur) I guess I'm just not that interested in it any more.  I don't think my life will be diminished, or my joy somehow curtailed, by choosing to do something I enjoy *more* (like spending time with my family) rather than pour more effort and emotional investment into something which appears to have, essentially, run its course for me.

The most interesting thought I have on the subject is this: how many people feel like I do?  I don't assume that most of the people getting upset with the NFL are backward-thinking regressive morons; I assume they've got complex reasons for turning their backs on the Greatest Sport In America, just like I do.

I dunno.  It's a very weird situation for me.

Rickm82's picture

I’d be hanging on to the NFL with both hands under those conditions, Jonesie. As it is, only the fun of Fantasy Football brought me back, and the Seahawks added to the fun. When the Hawks suck again, I would slip away again were it not for FF. Winning Husky football is the only thing that keeps me watching any sort of college football. I do miss the tradition of the Saturday afternoon game however, and these late night starts are souring me on them. I used to own season tickets to Husky basketball, and even if they returned to the Isaiah Thomas glory days, I wouldn’t return, because I resent having to cow tow to TV, never knowing what time I need to be at the arena. But, if I were in the Philippines, I would be putting up with the weird times just to have American sports. Why? It has a lot to do with why I love my country and that has a lot to do with why I stand for the flag. And I would put money down that any aggrieved NFL player living in the Phillipines or Zaire and staring at a day of dart throwing would suddenly find reservoirs of patriotism and appreciation for their country they didn’t know were there. And the use of Zaire is not racial. I’ve been there and speak from experience.

My feelings on this flag matter are so well articulated by Doc that I should just cosign on them. 


"If it offends your sensibilities, then ....  eye-spraining roll .... "Then.  Don't.  Watch."

That's the rule, if you don't like it, just look away ... Until of course the target becomes a protected group, and Tebow takes a knee against, say, loosening sexual taboos or somesuch.  Then the guys on TV (not you Sherm) are the first to call for a protestor's job and "free speech" has very circumscribed contexts in which the 1A applies.  :- )


That the NFL has lost us and it's our loss, not theirs ... I guess I'm confused.  The CEO is there to drive up units sold, TV ratings, brand trust, all that stuff.  A 4% or 8% or 11% reduction in ratings -- or a 2% gain where a 4% gain was the target -- is very much their loss.  Not sure what you're driving at here.  NO business wants to alienate ANY customers it can avoid alienating.

And the NFL did that, protect its consumer brand with an iron fist, right up until this flag protest.


Appreciate however the eloquent case made Sherm as always.


But always thought his motivations weren't necessarily selfless.  It could have been attention getting selfishness all along, which his girlfriends constant involvement in the situation only supports the possibility of.  I'm not saying he doesn't have morals or that he doesn't believe in his message.  Only that he could have thought he would be considered a hero for his actions and only saw selfish positives in the outcome.

I have a personal pet peeve of people proclaiming they know someone else's motivation.  I am not claiming to know Kaepernicks, merely pointing out an alternative possibility to showcase the fact that we don't know his intentions for certain. 

At the same time I was not always opposed to the idea of him backing up Wilson.  Between the lines the fit made a ton of sense to me.  It was only a question to me whether Carroll would put up with or curtail the grandstanding. 


But I assumed that he'd find a starter's job (or at least a QB competition) back when he came to town.  Seattle is, even for a major city, extremely tolerant culturally toward protests and countercultural movements.  It seemed like the perfect place for Kaep.

And yeah, I don't try to claim I know what his motives were.  Pattern recognition lends credence to your theory, that it was considered a 'safe play' among, at the very least, a significant chunk of the fan-base while also elevating his 'brand recognition' to never-before-seen heights.  Had his QB play remained average or better, I think it's doubtful he would have engaged in such behavior.  But then he DID opt out of his lucrative contract...so many mixed signals here.  Hard to get a good feeling for what was going on between his ears.


I watched the last quarter and a half last night, Monday Night Football.

Marcus Mariota QB's Tennessee, and being a Duck from the terrible old days (football-wise), I sort of felt like I should watch. 

Will do the appropriate pennance.  Will eventually watch Tom Brady, as well.  To not watch Brady is sort of like not watching Greg Maddux.  Doesn't seem right.

I don't watch the NBA generally, either.  But I will watch Stephen Curry. 

So I am not totally dead to NFL/NBA on TV, just almost dead. 


I know the supposed "intent".  I understand it, but disagree with the premise because anecdotes, while disturbing, don't really represent the facts.  Not going into that here because I don't have the time.  And even if I was wrong I would still have a problem with it for a different reason.

I think this very much is an "America sucks" protest, whether it is meant to be that or not.  Those that agree with the protesters, in my opinion are protesting the wrong thing.  Those that are against the protesters because of the veterans, first responders, and what have you, in my opinion are missing the bigger picture.

What these guys are really doing, whether they mean to or not, are trampling on our ideals.  The ideals of this country are about as perfect as we can possibly put together, all tied to the amazing Declaration of Indepence document.  Everything that put this country together flows from that.  Our ideals of course have been imperfectly applied because we are imperfect.  The US does not have a perfect history.  But the ideals themselves are perfect.   It's these very ideals that when applied in their proper manner, have allowed us to improve to the extent that we have.  The very nature of things like slavery and eventual emancipation and corresponding civil rights movements can all trace their roots back to the simple phrase:  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...".  Everything flows from that.  Imperfect practice.  Perfect ideal.  

When they dishonor the flag and the anthem, they are dishonoring the very ideals that allow them the freedom they enjoy.  They may have a case in their greivance; but this action does nothing for them, doesn't suggest an alternative, but simply insults all of those who believe in the ideals.  I have a Russell Wilson jersey.  I like Russell Wilson.  It's the only jersey I've ever owned with someone else's name on it.  I won't wear it as long as these things are going on.  I'll watch the games, but it's not the thing it used to be.  It used to be a place where like-minded fans could forget this stuff and be united.  Now it's been soiled.  And it's ugly.


We'll all decide whether we want to watch the games, but you have very accurately captured my gut reaction. I think it's great if these guys want to show their displeasure with policing...that's what this country is all about. But I think they shouldn't attach that frustration to symbols of patriotism...that sends the wrong message entirely.


I only have a limited time to throw in a reply here, but wanted to make a couple of points that I think are getting missed. I read through the National Review post, and found the data to be misleading and innacurate. I'd encourage you to take a look through https://mappingpoliceviolence.org who I believe have a much more thorough process for gathering and verifying their data. You'll see that around 1,000 people are killed by police in the US every year, of which about 25% were black (242 per year), compared to being ~13% of the population. 30% of them weren't armed. And these are just the national averages. Some jurisdictions actually perform way below that (good news!). But it gets very ugly very fast when you dive into other municipalites that pull the average up. In those cases, I don't know how you can attribute it to something other than racial bias. It's a life and death issue for the players protesting, which is why I think you see so many players standing up the critisicm even if it puts their careers in jeopardy.

The sad truth related to this entire effort is that we make it extremely difficult to learn about gun and police violence in the US, largely for political and ideological reasons.

The good news is that there are groups out there, led by people of color proposing real, comprehensive solutions to these very issues. I'd encourage you to check out Campaign Zero for more information: https://www.joincampaignzero.org


No thought to the reality that African Americans are more likely to be caught in or just after the commission of a violent crime than all other ethnicities and races?

Rickm82's picture


That the National Review uses, and a cursory look at the gross numbers seem to match well with OKDan’s mapping police violence.

The discrepancies seem to be in what constitutes “armed”

in 2016, according to WaPo:

233 blacks killed

166 had a gun or knife

Other categories include: vehicle, toy weapon, other, unarmed, armed. 

“Unarmed” is 17

Dan’s database would not include a vehicle or toy weapon or other as “armed”

Feel free to check my work: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2016/

My iPad’s latest upgrades hate this website, so formatting and editing is a chore. Apologies.





who was, a decade and a half ago, the top pistol marksman in Washington State.  Three inch groupings with his Glock .40 at 80 yards kinda thing.  Real crazy accurate.  Was messing around with him out in our lumber yard, letting him try certain joint locks and submission holds that get taught to police, and discovered that (at that point in my life) none of them worked well enough to subdue me.  During our kibitzing about it, he mentioned that if I dropped into a wrestling crouch (was a high school wrestler at the time) or other martial arts stance then, by the book, I was considered to be armed and dangerous and lethal force was permitted (though obviously only to be used as a last resort).  Not saying that's right or wrong, simply that (according to him) it WAS the law.

Just another tidbit for the 'unarmed vs. armed' discussion.  Some percentage of those 'unarmed' statistic were certainly threatening with demonstrations of unarmed martial prowess.  Again, I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but 'unarmed vs. armed' doesn't tell the whole story by a long shot.


The 'war on drugs' is the primary reason that police spend more time in black and Hispanic neighborhoods, blacks and Hispanics are in more 'police interactions' proportionally than whites, are convicted of more crimes than whites, and get bigger sentences than whites. Along with the war on drugs comes the 'three strikes' mandatory sentence laws (most of the people nailed for three-strikes sentences are in violent gangs dealing drugs or are drug users themselves), a big step up in the militarization of urban police, and a tendency toward police interactions with higher stakes and lower inhibitions.

The vast majority of black people shot by police in this country are shot in connection to traffic stops where drug use or possession are suspected or fleeing from the scene of the crime...many of those crimes being drug busts.

White Americans in poor and lower-middle-class neighborhoods have similar rates of police fatalities because the narcotic/opiate epidemic is now running rampant in those neighborhoods.

The solution to the apparent disparities in the criminal justice system is to scale back the war on drugs and switch our focus to rehabilitation and psychological aid for drug users.

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