There’s a lot going on behind closed doors in the NFL.
The main reason is because they’re terrified of losing fans after the blatant disrespect the anthem-kneelers have shown.
And now we’re finding out shocking details about one secret closed-door meeting.
Of all the institutions, a reporter at the New York Times got his hands on an audio recording of a private meeting between prominent players, NFLowners, and Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the anthem protests.
The three-hour meeting consisted largely of the players’ contempt for the owners and how the instigator of the protests, Colin Kaepernick, wasn’t in the NFL anymore.
During this meeting, the owners also pleaded with the players to stop the protests because it’s ultimately affecting their bottom line.
But they also discussed President Trump’s influence in all of this.
Right before week three of last season, Trump was at a rally and urged team owners to take their players off the field if they refused to stand for the National Anthem.
This was met with immense backlash among players and protests were more prominent that Sunday.
But among the shocking comments, Trump supporter and friend, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, was particularly hypercritical of Trump’s “divisiveness.”
“NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly started the meeting asking those in attendance to “keep this confidential,” but did not seem to have too much to say during the proceedings.
The group of players who attended the meeting to wring concessions from the league slammed the owners for “blackballing” former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Utterly ignoring the fans’ dislike of the protests, Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Chris Long scolded owners saying, “If he was on a roster right now, all this negativeness and divisiveness could be turned into a positive.”
Long went on to insist, “we all agree in this room as players that he should be on a roster.” To that claim, though, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie scoffed saying that social justice is not “about one person.”
Former Kaepernick teammate Eric Reid, who has also turned free agent and found himself unable to find a new team, reportedly wore a Kaepernick T-Shirt into the meeting and attacked the owners for “blackballing” his friend.
“I feel like he was hung out to dry,” the Times says Reid told the owners. “Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us. Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this. We all let him become Public Enemy No. 1 in this country, and he still doesn’t have a job.”
For his part, former wide receiver Anquan Boldin insisted that the owners have failed the players by not stepping up to support the player protests. Boldin insisted that the owners needed to speak out, “Letting people know it’s not just the players that care about these issues, but the owners, too.”
With their comments, the player’s seemed uninterested in what fans think and felt that their anti-American protests should simply be accepted without question. Indeed, not just accepted but given full-throated support by the league and owners.
Team owners, though, stressed how the protests were destroying the fan base and hurting the business bottom line, especially where it came to President Donald Trump’s loud and persistent criticism of the anti-Americanism evinced by the league.
The paper noted that Bob Kraft was particularly outspoken:
The New England Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft pointed to another ‘elephant in the room.’‘This kneeling,’ he said.‘The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,’ said Kraft, who is a longtime supporter of Mr. Trump’s.
‘It’s divisive, and it’s horrible.’
Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie agreed that the league needed to find a way to make sure Trump stopped his broadsides. “We’ve got to be careful not to be baited by Trump or whomever else. We have to find a way to not be divided and not get baited,” Laurie said.
Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula also seemed to want a way to avoid the mounting criticism of the league.
“All Donald needs to do is to start to do this again,” Pegula exclaimed. “We need some kind of immediate plan because of what’s going on in society. All of us now, we need to put a Band-Aid on what’s going on in the country.”
“We’re getting hit with a tsunami,” Pegula added about the growing anti-NFL sentiment.
But the Houston Texans owner was direct:
The Houston Texans owner Bob McNair was more direct. He urged the players to tell their colleagues to, essentially, knock off the kneeling. ‘You fellas need to ask your compadres, fellas, stop that other business, let’s go out and do something that really produces positive results, and we’ll help you.’”
What’s odd is that they’re vilifying President Trump for expressing concern for anti-American attitudes.
They need to take a long hard look in the mirror before they point fingers at anybody else.