NFL’s social-justice deal solves nothing

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The NFL and the players who have been leading the effort to take to the NFL about the anthem controversy have reached a deal. But it’s not really a deal, which is probably the best news for the players.

And the worst news for the NFL.

The league, which remains petrified by the power that the players have discovered, has agreed to contribute less than $90 million over seven years to a variety of causes and programs that sparked the decision to protest during the national anthem. For its open-ended contribution, which is still subject to approval by all owners (and which may not happen until March), the league gets nothing.

The fact that the league would expect nothing in return for the cash commitment underscores the lingering fear that flows from the design flaw that the league incorporated in to the 2009 policy that requires players to come to the sideline for the national anthem, but that does not require them to stand. Then again, how much can the league really expect for payment that works out to roughly $400,000 per team per year?

And so the end result is a modest cash infusion in exchange for a sense of hope — hope that players will believe the league is showing enough respect for issues that gave rise to the protests to get the players to choose to stop the protests. It’s a temporary fix at best, which hardly slams the door on further protests (especially with the Players Coalition now fractured) and, in turn, on further attacks from the primary resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

For now, as the approval of the payments is pending, the league will want to see little or no kneeling for the rest of the regular season, for all of the postseason, and specifically during the Super Bowl.

63 responses to “NFL’s social-justice deal solves nothing

  1. The players have no real power. The league could tell them to take a hike and they would just go back to whining and complaining. No way would these guys actually walk out or strike over this nonsense

  2. So long as some of that money pays for rebates on GameAss and sports cable fees for all the working class sports fans whose enjoyment has been messed about, I’m ok with it.

  3. Oh, the league will get something, all right. A world of hurt and even more declining ratings. It may be the last straw for many, including myself.

    Never pay an extortionist.

  4. artliedtocleveland says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    The players have no real power. The league could tell them to take a hike and they would just go back to whining and complaining. No way would these guys actually walk out or strike over this nonsense
    ——————————————————

    Eric Reid would.
    That is why I respect him.

  5. artliedtocleveland says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm
    The players have no real power. The league could tell them to take a hike and they would just go back to whining and complaining. No way would these guys actually walk out or strike over this nonsense
    ////////////:::::..:.::::://////////
    How do you think that work work out for the NFL if they told 70% of their players to take a hike?

  6. This is straight up extortion. “Social justice” is a farce and has nothing to do with actual justice.

  7. The real problem for the NFL is that they cannot control this situation. They decided to get paid to have players come out for the Anthem now the greedy owners are paying the price for that. They have to seem sympathetic to the concerns of their players of which are made up of 70% black guys. Second they don’t want the fact that they the billionaires had to get paid to be patriotic come to light. They’re stuck so if the players are really concerned with helping to make change yes they do have power

  8. Giving money to social programs is great, however, I’m failing to see why the NFL is fiscally responsible for police brutality in minority communities.
    Kapernick utilizes mass media exposure provided by his employer to tout a personal cause, which has nothing to do with his employer; and the employer ends up paying $89 million, which will likely solve the issue not one little bit.

    This has got to be one of the most disjointed protest/resolutions in history.

  9. mufasa1822 says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm
    Owners should break the CBA and offer the players 1/4 of their current salaries.
    ————-
    They won’t need to. The latest projections have shown the NFL and its broadcasting partners are losing over $500M this year. On top of tv revenues, merchandise sales have dropped over 20%. As revenue goes down, so will the salary cap and thus their salary.

  10. I get the point of the protests, to bring awareness, but now that you have awareness there has to be a plan. This is what I don’t like about Kapernick. He never had a plan, and he hasn’t done ANYTHING since he last knelt on the sideline. Not an interview, didn’t start a non-profit, a charity….. nothing. At least Malcolm Jenkins is getting SOMETHING done. 89 million is chump change compared to the NFL revenue, but that’s real money to non-profit organizations trying to make actual change. Change takes time, and there’s no quick fix.

  11. The league, which remains petrified by the power that the players have discovered …

    Um, you might want to check your facts, not all your past commentaries. The overwhelming majority of the fans think that the kneelers are fools and tools using the wrong arena to stage their lame protests. The majority knows where the biggest problem lies.

  12. NFL is stupid for contributing money.
    Fire all the players who protest.
    Players will quit protesting exceedingly fast when their cushy jobs are in jeopardy.

  13. The players have no real power. The league could tell them to take a hike and they would just go back to whining and complaining. No way would these guys actually walk out or strike over this nonsense
    ——-
    We citizens have no real power. Our government could tell us to take a hike and we would just go back to whining and complaining. No way would we citizens actually unite strike or protest for our rights for equality as free American citizens.

    But we love to pretend the the government works for us. Yet they own us.

  14. Reports are that half the money will go straight to the Players Coalition. Expecting fans to fund this through five figure PSLs and $20 hot dogs will complete phase III of Goodell’s Empty Stadium Initiative.

  15. So these players have graduated from the Jesse Jackson-style shakedown school of social justice. I was already leaning towards not renewing my season tickets, but this “deal” assures it. The NFL won’t get one penny of my money moving forward, if this is how they’re going to spend it.

    When did throwing large amounts of cash at the ghetto ever accomplish ANYTHING? Its only purpose historically is to get more democrats elected / re-elected.

  16. The league, which remains petrified by the power that the players have discovered …

    Um, you might want to check your facts, not all your past commentaries. The overwhelming majority of the fans think that the kneelers are fools and tools using the wrong arena to stage their lame protests. The majority knows where the biggest problem lies.
    ***
    Can we make a rule that we’ll only speak for ourselves and not the “overwhelming majority?”

  17. I don’t understand. Why does the league have to contribute anything? The players were complaining about the police and racism, yet they are disrupting their employer, who is neither the police nor the government. How the hell does this make sense to anyone?

  18. dcpatfan says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    Ball is in your court NFL……
    So proud of Kaep!!!!!

    ———-

    Just think if Kaep could have been good enough to beat out Blaine Gabbert

  19. If the players are really concerned about “social justice” they should be made to agree to contribute at least 10% of their salary to the cause.

  20. Why don’t all the players pay for social justice instead? It’s their damn agenda, why is this being forced on the NFL? Im not going to be giving the NFL my money is they’re now going to be finding social justice non sense

  21. This is stupid, and the NFL can’t be that stupid. This is going to cause a huge backlash, and the NFL is doing it to themselves. It’s like Donald Trump negotiated the deal to hurt the league and to hurt race relations. Also, this has nothing to do with Kaepernick. Kaepernick was very specific. He wanted to bring attention to the lack of police training that was resulting in unarmed black people getting killed by cops. We all saw the videos. The owners should contribute money directly to police training. That is something everyone would support. The police would benefit. The league would benefit. America would benefit. It’s a win, win for everyone. Now it just looks like a handout to black people. Yeah, that’s going to go over well with the handful of racist cops. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I understand Anquan Boldin isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the NFL isn’t that stupid. The only one who wins on this is the great divider, Donald Trump. America is the big loser. Hopefully, they’re just floating this idea to see how it’s accepted. I’d say the NFL needs a new advice committee.

  22. This will just strengthen the resolve of fans who are going to fewer games, buying less NFL apparel, and are watching fewer games on TV/streaming devices.

  23. Such a stupid controversy. The league would fine a player for putting Black Lives Matter on his shoes. But won’t fine a player for kneeling? Just put it in the rules, and move on.

  24. jklecko77hof says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    Oh, the league will get something, all right. A world of hurt and even more declining ratings. It may be the last straw for many, including myself.

    ————–

    You got that right, buddy.

  25. Solves nothing is correct…just when I thought ole Rog could not be any more incompetent!
    Trump keeps on winning & Jerry is the only businessman in the group…

  26. This is nothing but ransom money and the fans will pay with higher game prices. Goodell is afraid of the players. The quid pro quo should be that the players will protest black fathers from ditching their families forcing moms to raise their children by getting two jobs and welfare. Goodell is an outrage!

  27. The only “power” the players have in this mess is due to the incompetence of the league office.

    This nonsense should have been taken care of last season.

  28. Mr. Florio, why are you trying to downplay the 89 million dollar grant to “to a variety of causes and programs that sparked the decision to protest during the national anthem”?

  29. nhpats says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Just think if Kaep could have been good enough to beat out Blaine Gabbert
    ——————

    Who quarterbacked the 49ers after Gabbert got benched?

  30. This “issue” was so important to the players. I didn’t see what it was the players are going to contribute to this fund. Must be the pockets the money will be going in.

  31. charliecharger says:
    November 30, 2017 at 2:13 pm
    This is stupid, and the NFL can’t be that stupid.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes. Yes they can. They have botched this from the beginning as I have pointed out in a post that absolutely will not make it through because it completely undermines the agenda

  32. Owners should say keep kneeling for that kind of money. In fact I suggest they put a cap on players salaries. If they don’t like it … get up off that knee and see if both those legs can walk yourself right out the door.

  33. mmack66 says:
    November 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm
    Can someone please articulate to me what exactly it is that these anthem resters want?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Personal attention while virtue signaling and keeping the issue alive and well in social circles and the media. They don’t seem to want to fix anything. As long as there is a large number of people who believe there is institutional racism towards minorities in this country, the victim excuse is allowed to flourish unchallenged and be accepted by other victims without consequence.

  34. iambriandunn says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    I get the point of the protests, to bring awareness, but now that you have awareness there has to be a plan. This is what I don’t like about Kapernick. He never had a plan, and he hasn’t done ANYTHING since he last knelt on the sideline.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    I’d suggest you do a

  35. iambriandunn says:
    November 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    I get the point of the protests, to bring awareness, but now that you have awareness there has to be a plan. This is what I don’t like about Kapernick. He never had a plan, and he hasn’t done ANYTHING since he last knelt on the sideline.
    ——————————————————————————————–
    I’d suggest you do a quick Google search before you post a comment like that. Just in case you prefer looking at least somewhat informed.

  36. beachsidejames says:
    November 30, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Owners should say keep kneeling for that kind of money. In fact I suggest they put a cap on players salaries. If they don’t like it … get up off that knee and see if both those legs can walk yourself right out the door.
    —————————

    They already have a salary cap, Jim.

  37. This is going to go over really well with an already annoyed fan base. I propose they take that 89 million out of that bright idea commissioners salary. This man is single handily killing this game with his cowardice and failure to lead.

  38. The fact that the league would expect nothing in return for the cash commitment underscores the lingering fear that flows from the design flaw that the league incorporated in to the 2009 policy that requires players to come to the sideline for the national anthem, but that does not require them to stand.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Just because you want to believe something, does not make it so. The NFL did not specifically make a rule such as “Players shall not sit or kneel during the national anthem” because until recently, there was no reason to believe people would do such a thing. However, there are areas that do address the general situation in both the official rule book and the game operations manual.

    Here is the applicable portion of the NFL rulebook:
    2017 OFFICIAL PLAYING RULES OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
    (page 23)
    ARTICLE 8. PERSONAL MESSAGES. Throughout the period on game-day that a player is visible to the stadium and television audience (including in pregame warm-ups, in the bench area, and during postgame interviews in the locker room or on the field), players are prohibited from wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration, unless such message has been approved in advance by the League office.

    And here is the applicable portion of the NFL game operations manual:
    The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.
    During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.

    As you can plainly see, the league prohibits personal messages (in this case the kneeling protest or even the arguably racist display of a raised fist) both before and during the game (when players are publicly visible) without prior approval. It also spells out how the players should stand during the anthem itself. Take both of those excerpts together and it is evident that the players are violating a rule and/or policy and the NFL has chosen to handle things in an ineffective way that promotes further rebellion from the standards. Lawyers and protest supporters will nitpick about legal definitions of “may” and “should” but reasonable people will know what the obvious intent is here.

    Sorry, but I will be in the ‘politically correct’ minority (actually the real majority) on this one. The players’ protests are stupid. Before you grab those pitchforks, that is not the same as saying their cause is stupid. Their message is about equality which, in and of itself is fine. The problem is the players have no objective. They seem more concerned about staying socially relevant and keeping their names in the media than addressing their supposedly important cause. They just turned down $89 million. Maybe I missed it but what did the players themselves (or their coalition) pledge to help their cause? The teams offer $89M and these guys…just want to kneel? That makes no sense. They purposefully anger and alienate millions of fans (by disrespecting the flag/anthem/country) and when the league tries to do something supporting their technically divisive message these cowards turn tail and run away—because it isn’t about solving anything and by the looks of it, it isn’t even about helping or making a difference; it is about whining about things loudly enough to keep them floating around various media venues. Sadly, the national media is collectively incapable of questioning the cause or the motives and are more than happy to keep the superficial argument alive for clicks and profit. The players’ chosen venue is absurd as well. What exactly does the NFL have to do with social inequality? Didn’t it provide opportunity for thousands of minorities over the last few years alone to escape some of the stuff these guys are squalking about? What does the NFL have to do with abusive cops or racism in general? Again, their protests are stupid. It would be similar to some of us boycotting Walmart because a couple people in congress groped some staffers. Walmart doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with that but, so what? The NFL doesn’t have anything to do with the protesters’ complaints either. I don’t think it is too much to ask for these guys to protest on their own time (on their treasured social media accounts) and keep their politics and national disrespect out of our living rooms on game days.

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