Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid do not have a job in the NFL for one reason only: They refuse to give up their Constitutional rights.
Whether you agree or disagree with their stance on kneeling during the national anthem, the above statement is true.
It sure started a firestorm on Twitter went I sent that message out Thursday. Nothing seems to fire up people more than black athletes making a protest.
Many responses were something like this one:
No one is telling them to give up their rights. They have the right to their free speech and the teams have their right to not hire him. Being a player in the NFL is NOT one of their Constitutional rights.
Correct in the fact that teams have the right not to hire them. But they are asking them to give up their rights. The employer has the right to ask certain things of a potential employee, within the ramifications of the law.
But it is a little shocking considering this league employs men with criminal records, including domestic abuse. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster is charged with three felonies for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the head 10 times. As of now, he’s still a member of the team.
Former San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid (one of the better players at his position at almost anyone’s standards) appeared close to a deal this week with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Reportedly, Reid was asked if he would agree to stand during the anthem. He would not agree to it, so they told him to hit the road.
Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted that Kaepernick was going to work out for the Seahawks this week, but Seattle postponed the trip when the quarterback declined to stop kneeling during the national anthem next season.
A later tweet by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network stated the Seahawks didn’t ask Kaepernick to stop kneeling, per se. The team asked for his plan moving forward on how to handle everything and there was not a firm plan.
That’s a little vague, to say the least.
The point is these men have taken a stand for their beliefs. The NFL has taken a stand, unofficially saying those beliefs are unacceptable for employment.
No one has done anything wrong on either side, at least not legally wrong. Whether the players or the league have done anything ethically wrong, depends on what you believe.