I have a lot more time to read, write, and enjoy my family on Sundays this year. And I have the NFL to thank. I’m grateful for the time to read and write and enjoy family and friends. I have the time because I won’t watch the NFL again. I’ll regret missing the Super Bowl, but I’ll enjoy everything else.
The straw that broke this camel’s back for me was the NFL and the media’s response to the “protests” by Colin Kaepernick and others who refuse to stand for the National Anthem. Over the years, I’ve tired of the show-offs. I dislike the amount of money our world wastes on entertainment like football when I compare it to how much money we spend on things like education. We give these young professionals millions of dollars and then wonder why they act the way they do. Combine the excesses of football with the beer and snack food commercials populated exclusively by slender models, and I was already growing tired of the sport. The biggest excitement every year was an upset.
Did you catch my wording. I’m not offended by Kaepernick’s action. I understand it to be a publicity stunt. He needed to do something with his career. Without his bad-boy gimmicks, he would be a nobody on a nothing team. Now that he’s got his contract renegotiated and his team is in the cellar, he’s in a good position to rescue his team from the jaws of total futility. We should expect nothing less of the people we produce to play sports. They understand the formula. They can get a lot of money if they’re good, or if they’re obnoxious. Consider Bruce Jenner, or remember Dennis Rodman. If you’re not among the best, there’s good money to be made pushing the boundaries. (This also works in politics, which is why we have 2016’s Dennis and Bruce running for President, too.)
My problem is with the NFL and the sports media establishment, and the rest of the world that believes I must “allow” this behavior. I understand the freedom protected by the Constitution of the United States. Kaepernick should be free to do what he wants. So should the NFL and the media types that suggest I should put up with, or ignore this flagrant disagreement with my values. But freedom of speech and courage work both ways. I remain free to choose how I spend my time and my money. And I choose not to spend it on the NFL. I spend less time than ever watching ESPN and the NFL network too. I refuse to participate in Kaepernick’s stunt or to support the infrastructure that makes actions like those of the protestors profitable. I will not support a league or a sport that will take my time and my money and then force me to support their anti-American actions and attitudes. I’m done.
If the NFL wasn’t a monopoly, they wouldn’t sit still for Kaepernick’s joke either. I’m certain it is costing them money, and lots of it. Amazingly, they don’t think this action has resulted in their declining ratings. They think the Dennis and Bruce, er, uh, Donald and Hillary show is hurting their ratings. Maybe they’ll understand better after the election. It’s interesting how little courage organizations and indivudals have these days. The NFL and the sports media applaud Kaepernick’s “courage” but they don’t have the courage to stand for anything themselves. They’re out to make money and they refuse to stand for anything else. The NFL leadership definitely lacks the courage or conviction to make him suffer the consequences of his actions. Kaepernick may truly have convictions. The NFL and those who suggest I must “tolerate” it are clearly committed only to the pursuit of money.
So I’ll be writing more and connecting more on Sundays. I hope I live my values more carefully going forward. Kaepernick values his publicity and earning potential. I value life in a free country. I value selflessness, courage, commitment, and loyalty. I value making a positive difference and investing in people. I value solving problems rather than simply complaining about them.
I appreciate the NFL for reminding me of my own values. And the NFL reminded me my values are more important to me than football.