The NFL has had one bad headline after another.
The league that once seemed indestructible was starting to show cracks in the armor.
But the NFL might’ve put out one fire regarding Colin Kaepernick.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell keeps stumbling onto issue after issue.
The growing concern over head trauma remains unsolved by the league, and it’s resulting in fewer kids participating in football at the youth levels.
A by-product of the increased sensitivity around concussions is ineffective rule changes that have only worsened the viewing experience.
And the high profile release of star runningback Kareem Hunt—after an assault on a woman was captured on video—reignited the criticisms of players engaging in domestic violence.
But no issue has been more polarizing and damaging than the anti-American anthem protests started by free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
During the preseason in 2016, Kaepernick began kneeling for the Star-Spangled Banner, supposedly to protest the scourge of racist police officers killing unarmed black men.
Even Barack Obama’s Department of Justice was already investigating the matter and statistics didn’t back up Kaepernick’s assertion, the mainstream media turned Kaepernick into a civil rights hero.
Copycat kneelers sprouted all over the league, including Kaepernick’s teammate and close friend Eric Reid.
A group of players organized and essentially tried to shake down the NFL for money to fund their social justice initiatives.
The players’ coalition secured $89 million from the league owners for activist causes, but Kaepernick and Reid were upset because they felt they weren’t front and center in the process.
The incident caused a huge rift between Reid and players’ coalition leader Malcolm Jenkins.
Reid and Jenkins almost fought before a matchup last year.
After the game, Reid went so far as to call Jenkins a “sellout” and a “neo-colonialist.”
That language is illustrative of how deeply Reid and Kaepernick have been indoctrinated by leftist propaganda.
The suit seemed to be without merit because multiple teams brought Kaepernick in for workouts.
The Baltimore Ravens were on the brink of signing Kaepernick, then his girlfriend slandered Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and Ravens legend Ray Lewis on social media.
The Ravens fiasco and the constant media firestorm made it obvious why 32 teams independently chose not to deal with the headache of Kaepernick.
And now the NFL is further lessening its Kaepernick headache settling his lawsuit out of court.
It’s unlikely Kaepernick would’ve been able to prove collusion, but the payout—reportedly between $60 and 80 million—was worth avoiding a protracted trial that could’ve proven embarrassing to the league in other ways.
Some speculate the deal could include a caveat that Kaepernick give up his pursuit of again playing in the NFL, but Kaepernick’s Attorney Mark Geragos disputes that.
Regardless, the Kaepernick saga was a nightmare for commissioner Goodell that’s close to being over, but the damage was extensive.
The NFL still hasn’t fully rebounded in viewership numbers, and the Super Bowl was the lowest-rated game in a decade.
Goodell should’ve forcefully addressed the Kaepernick protest instead letting it spiral out of control.