Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless were on a unified mission to separate Colin Kaepernick’s sacrifices and legacy as it relates to the NFL, from former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores’ racial discrimination class action suit against the NFL, Dolphins, Denver Broncos and New York Giants.
While some narratives have drawn comparisons between Kaepernick’s kneeling for social justice and Brian Flores fighting for “change” within a systemically segregated NFL power structure, the “Undisputed” mouthpieces weren’t buying it.
“It’s going to be very hard to prove,” Shannon said. “Without documentation and without collaborating witnesses, I don’t know how you prove, it’s he said, he said. And now…You thought Colin Kaepernick got Whiteballed…?
Sharpe believes Flores’ treatment and alienation will potentially be more volatile than Kaepernick’s, if at all possible. Sharpe attempted to articulate the difference between Kaepernick’s purpose and Flores’ purpose. Basically, saying why Kaep’s stand was legit but Flores’ lawsuit doesn’t hold much weight.
“Colin Kaepernick was trying to bring something … for the greater good of society,” Sharpe said. “This is Brian Flores taking on 32 individuals.”
Skip then interjected:
“To your point … Colin didn’t attack the league. He attacked society in general. It was more broad-based…
“He just used the [NFL’s] platform,” Shannon said in agreement with his co-host, “to get his point across.”
It’s a point that Sharpe also feels will be impossible to prove.
“Brian Flores is basically saying that these 32 NFL teams do not give Blacks and minorities fair opportunities at becoming a head coach,” Shannon said. “They bring us in for sham interviews, knowing good and well they’re not going to hire us.
(Well), teams are going to say, ‘we give you the same opportunities … we brought you in for three hours. … (Denver Broncos exec) John Elway’s documentation said we had a 3-3.5 hour interview. We gave you the same opportunity we afforded the other candidates.”
Shannon also responded to the accusations that Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered to pay Flores to tank games.
“Stephen Ross is going to say, “I didn’t give you no $100,000 to lose ballgames. Jimmy Haslam had a strong statement coming out against Hue Jackson. So, they’re saying everything we all thought they would say. No one is going to come out and say, ‘Yeah, that’s what happened. … So, without documentation or witnesses. … I don’t know how you prove this. I just don’t.”
Sharpe insists that every owner is going to insist that they hire the best man for the job.
“Who are you to say that wasn’t the best guy for the job that we gave the job too?” Sharpe asked.
“I just think Brian Flores is up against it. I commend him for taking on this uphill challenge because that’s what it is. It is a very tough climb. to get to that standard I just don’t know he does it unless someone says, ‘You know what? I heard that conversation and this is what he said.’
“Then you might have something. Outside of that, how do you prove you didn’t get the job solely based on the color of your skin. Skip, I don’t know how you do that.”
Skip went on to say how much he admires Flores but questions the way he’s gone about it, calling it “wrong-headed.” He also doubted if Flores’ intention is a “reasonably achievable goal.”
“Somebody had to do it and he finally did it. … I think it’s over for Brian Flores in NFL, and I hope to God that I’m wrong about that,” Skip said.
Sharpe says he expects all 32 owners to band together against Flores. Sharpe also says that former NFL coach Hue Jackson‘s support for Flores doesn’t necessarily move the needle or help the situation because he suffered through two of the worst coaching seasons in NFL history, winning one game.
Sharpe says the NFL is coming together to meet Flores’ accusations with full force in the legal courts and the court of public opinion. All of the teams mentioned in the suit and the NFL have vehemently denied all accusations and basically labeled Brian Flores, a man of high integrity, a liar.
It’s clear FS1’s money-makers don’t think Flores can win. It was also a way for Skip and Shannon to draw a line in the sand and show support for the NFL while saluting Flores’ “suicide mission.”
Kaepernick did eventually win his lawsuit against the NFL, but he never threw another pass for an NFL team. Most talking heads have already concluded that Flores’ fate will be the same. Sharpe is suggesting the backlash will be worse because Flores is attacking the integrity of the league head on with no helmet.
Let’s hope he doesn’t crash and burn.
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