The NFL is desperate to get #BackToFootball. Except, of course, when it isn’t.
Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill openly supports — via his team’s official website — the appointment of high school classmate Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. Although Bidwill’s quotes and the letter he has signed supporting Kavanaugh says nothing about politics and espouses no political causes or ideologies, everything about the appointment of a Supreme Court justice is political.
Bidwill’s support for Kavanaugh comes at a time when players advocating political causes routinely are told to “stick to football,” and the league seems willing only to listen to a vocal minority of fans on the hotly-contested national anthem issue. Bidwill’s gesture follows last year’s effort by Broncos G.M. John Elway to publicly support the candidacy of Neil Gorsuch, the most recent justice appointed to the Supreme Court. (And, yes, Elway said, “Take the politics out of football” only six months later.)
Regardless of political views, the point here is that the NFL and its fans shouldn’t be able to have it both aways. If it’s OK for owners to advocate political causes, it should be OK for players to do the same, without consequence.
And if it’s regarded as “bad for business” when players push their political interests on company time, it should be regarded as “bad for business” for an owner to use his team’s official online media platform to do the same.
It will be interesting to see whether other owners follow Bidwill’s lead in the coming days and weeks, and whether players will have something to say about this apparent double standard.