It Didn't Have To End Like This
For all of his fiery bluster about social inequality and racial profiling, Colin Kaepernick has singlehandedly taken his agenda and set it on fire. It was reported late last week that the quarterback couldn’t assure the Seattle Seahawks last week that he’d no longer sit out during the playing of the anthem this next season. That not only apparently cost him a job but also shows his refusal to fully grasp the business world.
The worlds of the haves and have-nots are at a crossroad, and the have-nots -- in this case, the players who are looking for work after their efforts to sit out the anthem last year -- are finding themselves powerless to business owners who are flexing their corporate muscle.
Further, Kaepernick did his cause no favors with his actions this past weekend. This is the second time he's flipped on this issue since being released by the San Francisco 49ers at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
Shortly after that time, Kaepernick expressed reservations about his actions and said he'd no longer participate in sitting out the anthem and instead focus his efforts on less divisive measures.
If the reports are true from this past week, Kaepernick couldn't make those same assurances when recently contacted (apparently for the second time) by the Seahawks.
That means that Kaepernick not only was willing to extricate himself from his own movement more than a year ago, but now appears ready to challenge that same decision at the same time he's embroiled in a case of collusion against the National Football League.
If you've followed me at all during this process, then you know my stance on almost all of this.
The anthem was never the issue. Kaepernick used the song as a weapon, he exploited a hungry media and watched as talking heads turned on each other like a pack of hungry lions.
But Kaepernick's constant shifting of how he wants to express himself has rendered his entire campaign as meaningless. When the presumptive leader of a movement (for lack of a better term) has no consistency or precise direction, the message becomes lost and irrelevant.
For all of his efforts, it turns out Colin Kaepernick's biggest problem in trying to get back on the playing field wasn't the owners colluding against him, it wasn't a police force he claimed was brutalizing people of color nor was it a society that turned its back against those same people.
Kaepernick's biggest obstacle into returning to the NFL was himself.
And to make matters worse, he now has the lives and careers of several others to answer for as well, namely his former teammate Eric Reid, who is also looking for work after joining Kaepernick during the national anthem sit-ins.
Dez Bryant released by Cowboys
At the end of the day, I'd like to believe that Jerry Jones pulled the trigger on the release of wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Because for all the tough guy swagger he brings to the table, Jones also is fiercely loyal, he is more soft than he is tough, and he likes to reward those who have been good to him.
But I don't think this was a Jerry Jones call. I believe that cooler heads prevailed, I believe that sensible management stepped in and put an end to something that had very little upside.
Instead, this was a decision made by Stephen Jones, the son of the owner and the vice president of the team. Him, along with coaching staff and assorted others, eventually had to crowd onto the elder statesman and forced his hand into the release of Bryant.
This is how business operates, and to those who are angry about the treatment Bryant received, it should be noted that -- at least publicly -- Bryant was given every opportunity to remain part of the organization he claimed to love.
Know what your value is as a person. Fight for that value and respect yourself at all times. Those are good life lessons to follow.
But one also must acknowledge that others will not respect your value. They will look elsewhere. They will attempt to do business in a manner that doesn't suit you in any way.
Bryant can sit and pout all he wants, and if the quotes from this past weekend's interview clips are any indication, he appears to be post-gaming all of this like the jilted lover at the immediate end of a bad breakup.
It is that this time however, that Bryant can rebrand himself. He can take this as motivation, as fuel if you will for the next chapter in his career, the next series of steps in his professional and personal life.
NBA Playoffs Recap
NBA playoff action last night saw the Indiana Pacers take Game 1 of their Eastern Conference series ove the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 98-80 rout. It’s the first time in the career of LeBron James his team has trailed in a first round playoff series. Meantime, Boston beat Milwaukee 113-107 in overtime to take a 1 game to none lead in their series. Out west, the Houston Rockets slipped past Minnesota 104-101 while Oklahoma City got past Utah 116-108.
NHL Playoffs Recap
NHL Stanley Cup playoffs resumed last night as well, with the Vegas Golden Knights taking a commanding 3 games to none lead over the LA Kings with 3-2 victory. The defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins got past Philadelphia 5-1 to take a 2 games to none lead in that series while Columbus outlasted Washington 5-4 in overtime to take a 2 games to none lead in that series.
Rest In Peace, R Lee Ermey, 74
The film "Full Metal Jacket" is almost like two movies in one.
The first part of the film follows a group of Marine Corps recruits, trying to get past the rigors and demands of boot camp and a boorish drill instructor played by R Lee Ermey.
The second part follows a group of Marines overseas in Vietnam, facing the horrifying realities of war.
It's very definitely not a film for everyone, but it is a crowning achievement in may regards.
One of those achievements is the character of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, played by Ermey, who passed away this weekend at the age of 74.
He will be missed.