The anti-American anthem protests are the worst thing to happen to the NFL in years.
Two of the original protesters are currently without a job.
Now the last original protester just got some news that could spell trouble for his NFL future.
Trouble By The Bay
The Bay Area is the birthplace of several radical and progressive moments.
The Black Panthers. Gay rights. Berkeley free speech protests.
So it’s no surprise that the anthem protests started there.
Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first NFL player to disrespect the country and kneel.
It’s also no surprise that Kaepernick adopted the ideology of the Black Panthers prior to his protest.
Kaepernick became radical after taking classes at Berkeley.
He also started a camp for kids called “Know Your Rights” that mirrored the philosophy of the Black Panthers.
Teammates Eric Reid and Eli Harold quickly joined Kaepernick in his protest.
Protests Out Of Control
After Kaepernick started the protests and Reid and Harold followed, other players around the league jumped in.
The unpatriotic displays turned off millions of fans.
Ticket revenue dropped and advertising dollars dropped.
Thousands canceled season tickets, forcing teams to apologize.
The low point came in London when players knelt for the Star-Spangled Banner, then stood for the United Kingdom’s anthem.
Commissioner Roger Goodell implemented a new anthem policy, but he’s since pumped the brakes on it.
Out of 1,700 players in the league, fewer than 10 percent actually protested.
But the small minority is ruining it for everyone.
Too Little, Too Late
Kaepernick and Reid are both without teams.
Kaepernick has mouthed off on social media about politics, but not so much about his NFL status.
Part of that is because he’s currently suing the NFL for the ridiculous claim of collusion.
Reid spoke up more about his status, which hurt his chances of landing a new job.
Reid waited less than two days into free agency to complain.
However, Eli Harold, the third man has been quiet.
With both of his former teammates gone, Harold has not protested the anthem this pre-season.
Some reporters even bullied him into discussing the topic of why he stopped his protest.
Harold told reporters, “I understand why everyone wants to ask the questions, but I just don’t want to get into that right now.”
Perhaps Harold understands that blaming the NFL and America for certain issues isn’t good business.
Harold continued, “I’m trying to focus on ball. Me and my wife had the discussion, and we feel it is best right now that I don’t answer those questions and try to stick with ball, if you don’t mind.”
Harold might’ve regretted putting a target on his back and creating undue pressure.
Playing in the NFL is impossible enough without being hounded by reporters.
However, Harold’s job just got a lot harder.
After Harold struggled in the 49ers’ first two pre-season games, the team traded him to the Detroit Lions for a conditional 7th round pick in 2020.
If he plays four games for the Lions, the 49ers get the pick in two years.
The team essentially traded Harold for a bag of peanuts.
If Harold struggles with Detroit, he could find himself on the outside looking in.
Teams don’t like distractions.
That is the main reason Kaepernick, and to a lesser extent Reid, are not in the league.
Harold seems to be making himself less of a distraction if his performance doesn’t pick up in Detroit.
However, Harold’s change of heart might’ve come too late.