The Cincinnati Bengals have dodged the latest controversy hitting the National Football League. A failure of courage on behalf of several owners.
The NFL has battled an unending wave of controversy and scandal through this decade. The NFL has managed to back itself into another controversy recently. Doing so with Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing search for a job. NFL owners by in large have acted without a backbone concerning the issue.
Fearful of backlash from some fans who don’t like Kaepernick’s protest. Even though most people probably don’t object to Kaepernick’s protests. Either because they approve of it, or acknowledge his constitutional right to protest peacefully. In some cases it could be that they generally don’t care.
To be clear, this is not a petition demanding an NFL team hires Kaepernick. NFL owners are within their right to hire him or not. Team owners and personnel aren’t mandated to keep Kaepernick employed. He has a constitutional right to do what he’s doing. Those right’s should be respected for any American at any time.
The idea of keeping Kaepernick off the field because of his protest is frankly dumb. If anything should keep Kaepernick off the field it should be merit. The Cincinnati Bengals can reasonably argue that they don’t need Kaepernick. Other teams like the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions or Seattle Seahawks could make that argument too. As I wrote not too long ago, the Bengals have a fairly stable situation at quarterback right now.
If the situation were to pop up where both Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron were injured. Plus, Colin Kaepernick were still without at team. I think the Bengals would honestly consider calling him up. After all, Mike Brown doesn’t seem like someone worried about what fans think of him. Just look at the way he’s run his franchise for the last 25 years.
Mike Brown is without doubt one of the worst team owners in modern NFL history. Largely considering his franchise hasn’t won a single playoff game since becoming owner back in 1991. However, it can’t be denied that the man’s got some guts. He’s given second chances to the likes of the late Chris Henry and recently to Adam Jones. At times when many others would not if they were in his shoes.
You know times seem strange when Mike Brown seems like an example of courage. While the Bengals might not need Kaepernick, other teams could benefit from his services. Owners of many of those teams have largely cowered to the corner. Fueling the idea that their disinterest is largely due to non-football related concerns.
The impression many owners are putting forth is that they’re taking sides. That’s a dangerous position for a franchise and the league to be in. Especially in the hyper-polarized environment America’s become. These owners should be telling Kaepernick the same thing you would tell any player. Don’t expect to be entitled to a spot on this roster, work for it.
If he ends up earning a spot the owners can say screw the critics. Instead they’ve let the idea that Kapernick’s being blackballed run wild. Which might not fully be the case to begin with. Considering others have protested in a similar fashion to Kaepernick’s. Some continue to do so and they still have their jobs.
Most at risk for the NFL business wise is it’s brand; one that’s survived a lot of hits lately. From concussions, to it’s player conduct policies. Plus, being branded the “No Fun League” by some players and fans. Adding this latest controversy into the mix doesn’t help. Some owners inaction isn’t making it any better for the NFL’s brand.
Unless the NFL really loves endless scandals and screw-ups. Then in that case the league is doing a spectacular job.