Xera Britt, staff writer
Former star wide receiver Antonio Brown was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week despite his numerous sexual assault accusations and other criminal charges. Although the NFL states that it supports efforts to end sexual assault, they often allow teams to give perpetratorss numerous ‘second chances’.
The NFL has also voiced its support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. For example, commissioner Roger Goodell has made broad claims for the NFL in regard to BLM and social justice. However, these broad claims compared to the actions of the league tell a different story. And that story has been telling the public that perhaps popularity, not justice, is on the minds of the league, just like what we see in the Antonio Brown situation.
It has been four years since Kaepernick’s knee protest, and four years since he last played in the league. NFL’s own Michael Silver says in an NFL.com article, “We’re at an inflection point in society, everybody’s thinking about racial justice. You see teams like the Lions, the Packers who made a statement earlier, the Bears, are making this part of their daily camp routine, and yet Colin Kaepernick, crickets.” At the same time, teams are much more forgiving when it comes to players like Antonio Brown, who has a history of issues including allegations of sexual assault, as well as being charged with burglary and battery.
Yet, per the NFL’s Press Coverage series on NFL.com, the possibility of Brown being brought back onto a team is thrown around as highly likely. Jim Trotter at one point said, “…I do believe Brown will be signed. The greater a person’s talent, the more opportunities he/she gets to screw up.“
So does Kaepernick not have enough talent for teams? Or are his protests seen as too big of a screw up for a second chance? Whatever the answer may be, the plain truth is easy to see. The NFL is doing next to nothing to support someone who protested racial injustice, which is the same racial injustice that they claim to be vehemently against. The lack of support, lead many, including myself, to believe that this is a stunt to hold viewership of a progressive audience, not for justice.