Will $100 million shut up Colin Kaepernick and his followers? The NFL is about to find out.
According to ESPN, the latest attempt by the league to smooth things over with its national anthem-shunning athletes is for the league to donate “nearly $100 million to causes considered important to African-American communities.”
“The NFL hopes this effort will effectively end the peaceful-yet-controversial movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he refused to stand for the national anthem last season,” ESPN reported Wednesday.
“Players are expected to discuss the offer during a scheduled conference call Wednesday night.”
So, essentially, they’re bribing players so that the players will pretend to care about America, or at least its anthem. There are so many things wrong with this “solution” that I’m not quite sure where to begin.
Perhaps a good place to begin would be the basics of the plan: $89 million in league earmarks over seven years toward projects both on a national scale and the local level.
Owners would contribute $5 million to the national projects this year, with that number growing to $12 million per year by 2021. On local projects, each owner would put up $250,000 annually “and expect players to match that amount.”
“Fundraising opportunities” — which would include auctioning off game-worn gear as well as telethons — could also add to this total. And who doesn’t love telethons? Aside from everybody.
After reading all this, the question arises: What exactly constitutes “causes considered important to African-American communities?”
If this involved scholarships at historically black colleges and universities or charity projects in marginalized communities, I don’t think anyone is going to be put off by that. If that’s where this money goes, it’ll be the first positive thing we’ve seen out of a controversy that’s otherwise been an unmitigated dumpster fire.
However, when it comes to “charity,” the Kaepernick squad tends to prefer organizations that might cause just a wee bit more controversy.
Take United We Dream, an organization that the former 49ers quarterback has donated to as part of his Million Dollar Pledge. According to Kaepernick’s homepage, the donation will help United We Dream in “addressing the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth” with plans to “organize and work for immigrant children to keep DACA in force.”
And then there’s Assata’s Daughters, a Chicago based organization that received another 25 grand from Kaepernick. They’re a “group that focuses on black female empowerment in the tradition of Asaata Shakur.”
Shakur, otherwise known as JoAnne Chesimard, is a black revolutionary currently residing in communist Cuba to evade prison time for the 1973 murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.
My assumption is that the NFL won’t necessarily be too eager to dump currency on those particular charities as part of this initiative.
However, even a compromise between the leftist and/or extremist organizations favored by Kaepernick and his supporters and charities that might actually help people as opposed to furthering an agenda won’t look terribly good.
Few of the football fans alienated by the league’s political turn to the left are likely to start giving the NFL their time and money again when the league is passing the money into the coffers of a dodgy social justice organization in order to get players to stop kneeling during the national anthem.
On the other side of the equation, you probably can’t expect the Kaepernick crew to shut up if the “solution” just gives a profusion of money to the United Way and calls it a day.
This is the conundrum that the NFL finds itself in. The league is rewarding the very people who are driving the fans away in the vain hope that once the protests stop, the fans will somehow forget about it and start filling up the league’s stadiums again.
If you’re going to bribe anybody (which, from the limited information I have, doesn’t seem to be terribly great way out of this conundrum), bribing the people who have driven your fans away seems counterproductive at best and something akin to protection money at worst.
Meanwhile, fans who have been alienated by the protests will likely have a long memory of those who condemn the anthem. They too will likely have to be bribed in the form of lower seat prices and a fortune in advertising and PR damage control.
So, it ends up being an expensive round of incentives doled out to everyone involved — something that could have been avoided if the NFL had just put a stop to the anthem kneel-o-rama when the whole thing began.
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