It’s actually quite simple. Some people say that the sporting competition is all that matters. Some say that the end product is more than just the 60 minutes of playing time in an NFL game.

  1. So many sports entertainment outlets are looking at what the players do as a sport, with the goal being to win games. The decision makers (Owners, Commissioner, etc) ultimately look at the NFL not as sport, but as a product.
  2. When the financial backers, whether they be the fans or the sponsors, sour on the product, non-sports decisions are made. And these decisions may adversely affect the outcome of games, but the product is what is truly being protected.

Is Colin Kaepernick good enough to start in today’s NFL? Yes. Is he a lightning rod of political attention? Yes. Who caused that to happen? He did with the help of these same sports entertainment outlets who are arguing that he deserves a job.

One of these outlets, by the way, is ESPN. You know, the “sports” channel that spends more time parading political viewpoints than they do sports. The channel who recently was forced to layoff a sizable portion of their on-air talent. The channel who is losing viewers at an alarming rate. That channel.

Colin Kaepernick cooked his own golden goose. Other current players are trying to follow suit and the league is suffering viewership and revenue because of it. The NFL is not as wounded as some would say, but neither are they as impervious to danger as others would say.

The solution is simple. Understand your audience. Give them a product that they will support. If they are not supportive of your current product, that’s not their problem. You have the right to free speech, yes you do. But why don’t you do that on your own dime and time, rather than hijacking someone else’s product to feature your own grievances?