Speaking with NBC’s Matt Lauer about NFL players imitatin San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and disparaging the national anthem, NFL Commissioner demonstrated exactly how professional sports and leftism have become an ugly mix.
Lauer asked, “Do you want the league to take a leading role in bringing attention to issues like the on that Colin Kaepernick is bringing attention to?”
Goodell: “Well, I think our history is that we do; we play a role in society. We understand that. We’re careful about that because we still believe that at the bottom, people come to enjoy the sport; they come to enjoy the game. But they recognize the importance that the NFL plays in our society and we all have to be responsible for that. It’s an important role and it’s one of the things that we spend a lot of time focusing on.”
Lauer continued, “Are you proud of Colin Kaepernick for taking this stand?”
Goodell, evasively: “Listen, I support our players speaking out on issues they think need to be changed in our society. We don’t live in a perfect society, Matt; our players have strong views about things, so I support our players speaking out against that. But that’s what the focus should be on; the changes he wants to see in our society
Lauer, pressing: “But are you proud or does it make you nervous when you see it?”
Goodell: “Well, I think when our players speak out and they feel strongly and passionate about something, I think it’s s a good thing for us. What I do believe, though, is the respect for our country; the people who fought for those freedoms and those values; the people who protect us here and abroad; I think those are very important, and you’re going to see it on Sunday. We’re a patriotic league.”
Yet as CNN reported on Saturday, the league isn’t that patriotic:
Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson earlier in the week said he would wear specially-designed patriotic cleats when he lines up against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The special red, white and blue cleats include stars, an American flag-inspired Nike logo and the words “Never Forget” printed on the heel, according to photographs posted on Williamson’s verified Twitter account.
But that would violate NFL rules, which stipulate each player’s shoes must be either black or white, with team colors serving as allowable dominant or secondary colors on the shoes.
The NFL rule book says unapproved shoes are allowable only if “the player tapes over the entire shoe to conform to his team’s selected dominant base color.” Fearing a fine from the league, and leery of becoming a distraction, Williamson said he decided to auction the cleats for charity.
“We’re a patriotic league.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
The Daily Caller pointed out, “Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson and New York Giants receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz were some players that wore cleats specially made to honor first responders and those who died. Goodell could levy fines since it’s against NFL rules to wear special shoes that don’t match teams’ uniforms. “
So Goodell’s NFL will punish players honoring the heroes of 9/11 while championing those who can’t take two minutes to honor America’s fallen during the national anthem?