Goodell’s Hot Take On Kaepernick Is Not Only Flawed But Embarrassing

Between canceling SB 53 pressers and Goodell’s refusal to acknowledge Kaepernick’s blackballing, the NFL continues to provide examples that it’s still money over everything. 

On Tuesday, the NFL announced that in an unprecedented move it was canceling the press conference for the music groups performing at the Super Bowl 53 halftime show.  It’s an obvious attempt to suppress any potential political questions that might be directed towards halftime show performers Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi.

According to WFAN’s Mike Francesa, there had been rumblings that the artists were “planning” some sort of social message either at their performance or the press conference.  Unsuspecting NFL owners would have a collective heart attack if Big Boi came out spitting the bars from Rosa Parks. What if Maroon 5 took a knee during their performance? Is Travis Scott going to shock his majority white fanbase and rep for Kap?

Scott and Big Boi might have a very strong and powerful statement planned. This would definitely appease the critics who say they are abandoning Kaepernick and the struggle for equality.  The most-watched event sporting event of the year is the perfect place to get a message across for maximum impact. 

Scott said he was doing the Super Bowl and would use the platform in a way that inspires and respects the Black community. I doubt a wedding proposal fits that bill, so I’m eager to see what he does beyond getting the NFL to donate $500,000 to the hood. 

During his press conference on Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell  ducked questions about why quarterback Colin Kaepernick has remained unsigned for two seasons, saying if teams aren’t signing him it’s because they don’t think he’ll help them win.

With Kaepernick’s collusion suit against the NFL pending , the $25 million commissioner has nothing to offer but more lies, proving that the NFL’s lack of respect for its players and those who support Kaepernick starts at the top.

Travis Scott and Big Boi took a lot of public flack for agreeing to do the halftime show and breaking the Black entertainers’ Super Bowl boycott. But, I’m not sure if it’s Maroon 5 who the NFL is fearful of because some reports say that band were the first ones who wanted to bail.  Maybe the NFL just didn’t want the group dealing with sensitive questions about why they agreed to perform. 

“As it is about music,” the NFL declared, “the artists will let their show do the talking.”

 

The specific details are murky, but this current ordeal reinforces the NFL’s stance that it is strictly opposed to any show of solidarity by its African-American players concerning social issues.  The NFL owners have done everything they can to suppress the collective Black consciousness of players and erase Colin Kaepernick from NFL history.

The NFL continuously fails when it comes to dealing with social issues on its athletic platform. By deading the presser, the league seeks to avoid a PR nightmare that would once again alienate their pro-Trump, white, anti-Kaepernick audience and possibly incite their audience of color to action. 

These types of things just show you where the NFL’s corporate culture is at and why LeBron James compared the league to slavery as far as how it treats its African-American employees.

In a scramble to try and squelch any potential social message, the NFL believes that deading the press conference will save the Super Bowl from having to hear the name of Colin Kaepernick mentioned. From reopening old wounds that the owners feel they bandaged and sealed with a $90 million deal with the Players Coalition.

By dismissing the fact that Colin Kaepernick is an upperechelon QB, Commissioner Goodell hopes to keep the elephant in the room is sedated until the Super Bowl cash cow comes home.

I really do hope that the artists have something planned for the halftime show that will honor Kap and remind the country of why the players were kneeling in the first place.

Something subtle, to show the NFL owners that until justice is served, the potential social backlash will be something that the fans and league will just have to deal with. Police brutality and social injustice in America is more than a migraine for billionaire owners. It’s a social sickness that’s been flaring up under the current administration.

The NFL is still the same old NFL. It hasn’t learned a lesson from the past two years of controversy, enlightenment and education concerning its players and by default, Black people. The league’s still trying to take the easy way out of dealing with real issues.

After all, it can’t have the inmates running the prison.  

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.