So if Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid can’t get hired because they won’t commit to standing for the anthem, Wednesday’s uncompromising compromise fashioned by owners who fear a tweet or an base-inspiring rally remark removes the last impediment to their unemployment, right?
I mean, Kaepernick and Reid now know the rules. They have to “respect” the flag. If they refuse, there will be consequences.
So problem solved, right? The burning desire to win! should result in a land rush for their services. And when they sign, there will be no confusion or misunderstanding: No kneeling, no sitting, no fists in the air, no disrespect of any kind for the flag.
By solving one problem, the owners potentially have exacerbated another, because with the primary impediment to the unemployment of Kaepernick and Reid — the fear that they’ll still kneel — gone, there’s no reason to avoid them.
And of course we know that won’t be happening. Ultimately, this entire issue is not about patriotism or race or revenue but control. The owners, in crafting the anthem policy, had left a thermal exhaust port in the Death Star, and Kaepernick jammed a couple of photon torpedoes right into it. The owners resent that Kaepernick discovered the loophole, exploited it, and taught his peers to do the same.
Kaepernick, and to a lesser extent Reid, are the lingering reminders of the fact that the players outsmarted the owners on this one, and that when the owners tried to assert control by keeping them out of the league, they took action to advance their rights.
Keeping them out based on their refusal to commit to standing was convenient, because no one expected them to bow to the league’s will. No one expects the league to bow to the will of Kaepernick and Reid, which means that the owners would much rather write them a fat check than let them ever set foot on the stage that the owners own and, once again, control.