Colin Kaepernick’s anti-American anthem protests created a disaster for the NFL.
More and more fans turned away as players became obnoxiously political on the job.
While the left-wing media praise Kaepernick for his radicalism, one former NFL star issued a warning to him and other players-turned-activists who followed in his footsteps.
A former Houston Texans running back isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He recently slammed Texans owner Bob McNair for his benign comment about “inmates running the prison” with regard to the anti-American protests that spiraled out of control, and made a ridiculous comment that racism is the reason Kaepernick isn’t in the NFL.
But Foster also called out Kaepernick and other players who speak on political issues without really being well-versed on various topics.
In the case of Kaepernick, he hasn’t said much beyond shallow comments on social media, yet he’s being lauded as a thought leader.
Former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster says he was not surprised by Texans Owner Bob McNair’s “inmates” comment. On the contrary, Foster believes that’s how NFL owners “view the players anyway.”
The NFL owner’s comments came during an owners meeting where the league struggled to agree on a policy on what to do about the anti-American protests that had been driving fans away in droves.
During the October, 2017 meeting, McNair praised Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones for his outspoken opposition to the player protests and said of players seeking to set the agenda for the league, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”
McNair quickly apologized for the using the euphemism and said he was merely employing a common saying. But several months later he backtracked from that apology saying he should never have offered such a retraction.
The Texans owner has been a steadfast opponent of the player protests. This year, for instance, he insisted that game time is not the right time for such outbursts and said he hopes the league will further define rules forcing the players to stand for the anthem.
Foster also said that the main reason anthem protest inventor Colin Kaepernick is not playing today is because of racism. “I think it is dishonest that (the owners) won’t admit that, absolutely,” he said.
However, Foster also noted that many players get in trouble by not being able to articulate positions on contentious social issues:
“When you bring (politics) into the sports world the real problem is … I don’t think the majority of players have time or care to research these issues to the point where they can articulate their thoughts against anybody who opposes their position,” Foster said. “It brings a huge problem into play when you bring in the fact that athletes and entertainers are representatives of their communities. You kind of become the torchbearer for an entire community when that’s not what you went to school for, that’s not what you’ve been studying for your whole life.
“It is multifaceted and it is unfairly placed in the laps of these players, but that’s the price that you pay when you have any kind of fame.”
While the former player lapsed into rote charges of racism, his last point is well-taken. Athletes spend their entire youths working on their sport. Few spend much energy on issues outside of sports, so in some cases, it would be “unfair” to expect them to have well thought out arguments on social issues.
But, perhaps that is exactly why Bob McNair is right when he says that the football field is not the place for protests?
While Foster is off the mark about racism holding back Kaepernick, he’s correct about players spouting off without having a grasp of the issues.
Kaepernick railed against police shootings while the Department of Justice under Barack Obama was already investigating the matter.
Players are free to say what they want, and teams are free not to sign them if they feel the players aren’t worth the trouble.