As it happens, Brady and Kelly find themselves in similar positions right now. Both are working under famously mercurial authoritarians, and both have lashed out in moments in discontent. Brady, though, has made it clear that he’ll still be working for his iron-fisted boss through the end of the year. That doesn’t seem nearly as likely for Kelly. … [Read more...] about Report: Trump Had a ‘Long’ Call With Bill Belichick About Tom Brady’s Future Last Week
That’s not the only question about this new policy. Another is how the league will come to define “respect for the flag and the Anthem.” Does raising a fist, as some players on the New England Patriots did last season, constitute disrespect? How about linking arms, as many teams, coaches, and even owners did last fall? Art Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, said both are disrespectful in his book. … [Read more...] about New NFL Anthem Rule: Players Must Stand or Stay in Locker Room
The explanation for this contradiction between his demands that players revere the flag and his own contempt for its spirit is easily explained. Patriotism is the cover for Trump’s true intention, which is to delegitimize protest on behalf of African-American civil rights. One of the better specimens of the genre of reported stories from Trump country is a missive written by Michael Kruse last November about Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Kruse found that Trump’s supporters brought up the NFL protests over and over. “More than anything, what seemed to upset the people I spoke with was the National Football League players who have knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality.” And when he explored the source of that anger, the emotions veered not to patriotism but to race. “All my ancestors, Italian, 100 percent Italian, the Irish, Germans, Polish, whatever — they all came over here, settled in places like this, they … [Read more...] about Most Unpatriotic President Ever Says Kneeling NFL Players ‘Shouldn’t Be in the Country’
As Sports Illustrated explains, anthem protests were listed under a long list of “conduct detrimental to the team” as a placeholder, because any potential discipline must be published in the team’s rulebook prior to the start of preseason training. A Dolphins source said the team’s anthem rule hadn’t been finalized, and it seems unlikely that protests would receive the harshest penalty. … [Read more...] about NFL Anthem Protest Policy Put on Hold Under Agreement With Players’ Union
This may all seem somewhat intuitive — of course it was a good idea for the NBA to lean into the political moment, especially if it could do so in a way that burnished the star power of its players. But … contrast this with the NFL. Can you imagine how Roger Goodell would have handled one of his owners caught on tape saying something as racist as Sterling had? (And when you look at the ranks of NFL owners … it’s sort of surprising this hasn’t happened yet?) If Goodell has proven anything in the last five years of his commissionership, it’s that: (a) He’ll be a week late to react to any negative news story and will end up just picking a middle of the road solution that pleases no one, and (b) he’ll never, ever do anything that will upset an owner (unless it’s Bob Kraft, and that’s only because the 31 other owners were all yelling at him). Goodell’s antiquated belief that the NFL can navigate the political minefields … [Read more...] about The NBA Now Feels Like the Future and the NFL the Past. But It Wasn’t Destined to Work Out That Way.