It’s long been argued by NFL watchers that the league’s tolerance and even embrace of national anthem protests, initiated by anti-cop former player Colin Kaepernick, was hypocritical.
Time and time again, Americans were upset and outraged at their beloved sport getting trolled by misinformed activists spreading lies about law enforcement. Time and time again, the NFL sat idly by, silent as players kneeled and sat on their rear ends, even though the handbook stated it was a job duty for players to stand quietly and respectfully during the observance.
The protests shifted to a vague statement of solidarity that essentially accused millions of white viewers of being virulent racists, despite their fandom and financial support, and all taking place during the nation’s sacred rite honoring its fallen heroes.
When football fans rightly complained about the NFL’s hypocrisy for allowing the protests to take place during the game, they were lectured about it being a “free speech” issue. Well, behold the NFL’s tolerance for “free speech.”
New Orleans Saints player Alvin Kamura took the benign initiative of donning Santa Claus cleats for the Christmas Day game.
— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) December 23, 2017
The predictable result?
— Alvin Kamara (@A_kamara6) December 28, 2017
The GoFundMe wasn’t to fatten the player’s bank account, by the way. It was to promote a way for fans to donate cleats to underprivileged youth.
“I just felt like its Christmas, everybody’s in the Christmas spirit, so why not?” the rookie running back said.
“It was worth it. I told everybody what I was gonna do after the game,” he told ESPN. “I’m gonna make a GoFundMe. I’m gonna find like a charity, maybe something that gets shoes for underprivileged kids or maybe something like a little league team out here that needs some cleats and donate the rest of the money to a team or something like that. I mean, the Grinch stole Christmas.”
“It’s the Christmas spirit, man,” added teammate Mark Ingram. “How can you be mad at that? Do not be a Grinch.”
The NFL has thrown in lot with protesters by authorizing $89 million to go to predominately left-wing causes, even cutting military and breast cancer support to do so, according to reports. It has allowed players to wear customized cleats, but only one week during the year and if authorized by the league.
The National Football League’s commissioner Roger Goodell can talk all he want to about tolerating player behavior and endorsing self-expression, but actions speak louder than words. If the Santa Claus cleats worn by Kamara were instead adorned with “Black Lives Matters” or a “Planned Parenthood” logo, would the league be so quick to fine?
We’ll just leave it at that. The league has already made it clear that some player messages are more equal than others.
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