The secret recording made during last year’s meeting between owners, league executives, and players regarding the anthem protests extend well beyond Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie calling the current presidency “f–king disastrous.”
The New York Times has published more quotes from the meeting, and they are at times revealing and at other times inflammatory.
As to the issue of kneeling during the national anthem, Patriots owner Robert Kraft delivered a strong assessment of the Commander-in-Chief’s strategy.
“The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” Kraft said. “It’s divisive and it’s horrible.”
Kraft has been a strong supporter and close friend of President Trump. Previously, Kraft publicly expressed dismay at the tone of President Trump’s comment when he said as to any player who fails to stand during the anthem, “Get that son of a bitch off the field.”
Also during the meeting, Texans owner Bob McNair urged players to stop kneeling.
“You fellas need to ask your compadres, fellas, stop that other business, let’s go out and do something that really produces positive results, and we’ll help you,” McNair said.
The article provides a glimpse into the way the sausage gets made. And the message, as characterized by the Times, is that everyone was focused on making their own sausage recipe.
For the players, Colin Kaepernick‘s status was mentioned multiple times.
“If he was on a roster right now, all this negativeness and divisiveness could be turned into a positive,” Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long said during the meeting, regarding Kaepernick.
Then-49ers safety Eric Reid (who has recently had a hard time finding a job), complained about Kaepernick’s inability to land a roster spot.
“I feel like he was hung out to dry,” Reid said at the meeting. “Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us. Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this. We all let him become Public Enemy No. 1 in this country, and he still doesn’t have a job.”
Not mentioned at all in the story is the fact that someone breached the broader trust of the circumstances by secretly recording the discussion and by leaking it to the Times, during the NFL’s biggest week of the offseason for TV audience, brand messaging, and overall glass-90-percent-full positivity. As the league gets ready for the annual draft, some within positions of power and influence have to be wondering who made the recording and disseminated it.
And they’re probably not happy about it.