It was almost a surreal thing to see coming from an NFL team-sponsored website and social media account.
Shortly after Donald Trump announced that conservative Brett Kavanaugh would be his pick to join the Supreme Court, the Arizona Cardinals posted an article and a corresponding tweet saying that team owner Michael Bidwell was supporting the decision.
I’ve known him for more than 37 years.” Cardinals President Michael Bidwill attended high school with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. https://t.co/LotJ1xqSWp
The next morning Bidwell went on a conservative radio talk show to talk highly of Kavanaugh, according to Pro Football Talk.
According to PFT, Bidwell “attempted to portray his advocacy of Kavanaugh as non-political” because the Cardinals owner has been longtime friends with the Supreme Court justice nominee, but throwing your weight, wealth and team logo behind your statement of support is, of course, super political. This is as political as announcing your support for the president, senator or member of Congress; maybe even more so because this is a decades-long appointment shifting the direction of American life.
There are many marginalized people who are worried that this appointment is going to affect the future of women’s reproductive health, marriage equality, and affirmative action. So any analysis of this decision to tweet this from the team account and post this on the team website as other than political is nonsensical.
The quarterback and the defensive back were two of the most vocal proponents when it came to player protests. They were outraged at the epidemic of state-sanctioned violence and continuous racial inequality. These weren’t statements about democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, these were statements about right and wrong, justice and injustice. And while their protests and their motives may have been covered by team reporters, they damn sure couldn’t put their weight behind it to make sure it was broadcasted on team social media channels and websites how they wanted their protests to be portrayed.
This clip of Max Kellerman speaking on Colin Kaepernick and racial injustice as a whole is a must-watch. https://t.co/QbhhlYH2dx
Kaepernick was completely shut out from the NFL last season, a blackballing that is obvious to anyone looking at this in good faith. An example of this actually comes from Michael Bidwell himself last season. After their starter Carson Palmer got injured and was out for the rest of the season, instead of signing someone like Kap who is very athletic and has a cannon to get balls out there to a wide receiver like Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals went with Blaine Gabbert for five games where he went 2-3 and had to switch to Drew Stanton for the final four.
Reid, who has been vocal in his support of Kap’s movement and participated in protests, is also being blackballed and has not been signed this offseason. Both Kaepernick and Reid have filed collusion lawsuits against the NFL.
And that’s how it usually goes when it comes to these problems of injustice. If a Black player speaks out about societal ills in a manner that makes people uncomfortable, his views are strictly bogged down to politics, when in actuality these are issues affecting people’s livelihoods and humanity. The Black NFL players is told to “Stick to Sports” and some consumers say they “don’t want to see politics when watching football.”
But when an owner has an article written, promotes it from the team’s account and makes rounds on conservative radio gushing about how he wants his bro to become a freakin’ Supreme Court Justice? As one of only nine people who can shape laws in the country?
Where is the “Stick the Sports” crowd at now, because the hypocrisy is telling and reeks of white privilege.