In Trump’s America everybody can get a job, well, almost everybody. How toxic do you have to be to not get offered a job? I think we just found out;

On Thursday, it was reported that the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks canceled a workout for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick because he refused to stop kneeling for the national anthem:

The article clarifies the error here. The ambiguity was not whether grass would meet knee during the National Anthem; it was that Kapernick would not reveal his plans for his off field activities or his plans for social activism in general.

The Seahawks are in desperate need of QB help. They have Russell Wilson but no backup, releasing last year’s back up for domestic violence problems. Most teams carry 3 QB’s on the roster so Seattle is desperate. Yet they still cancelled the workout because Kap was playing coy. To be clear, the work out was only postponed. The Seahawks brain trust may decide to invite him back for a try out, if Kap is more forthcoming about his off field plans or if they decide the fall out in ticket sales, if that comes to fruition, is worth the price.

I don’t won’t to rehash the “collusion” aspect of this story, only that I think it is hilarious that each team owner is being deposed and having to explain why they do not want to hire a no talent whinny ex-QB. OK, no talent may be harsh, but I watched his last year with the 49er’s, he was dreadful.

These ties in with all the boycott posts we have written about here. CEO’s of public companies and football team owners make decisions all the time about how they will run their business, what products they will sell or put out on the field. If they wish to cater to a social cause or a specific targeted consumer, they can do that. And if other consumers find disfavor with that decision, they should shop somewhere else and let the market spank the company with lower profits for the bad decision made. The free markets should decide.

First and foremost, the NFL is a business; if it is not profitable then it will go out of business. Team owners suffered financially due to fan blow-back last year. Rational or not, some fans saw the kneeling as disrespectful. Again, no need to re-litigate  the respect angle, but unhappy fans do not buy tickets. Stadiums are half filled, ratings on stations carrying the games slip, sponsors sell fewer ads or for less money, the financial hurt trickles all the way down the food chain.

Some owners like Jerry Jones have publicly declared that anyone kneeling will get benched, yet another business decision that may backfire. If Dez Bryant kneels, gets benched, and the team loses then fans will not be happy.

I know some will get all worked up that owners can dictate and shape off field activities, welcome to the NFL. I suspect that every professional sports contract since the creation of sports has had morals clauses or other clauses that affect off field activity, all big boy pant jobs do. The military has “conduct unbecoming” which could mean just about anything unsavory or ill-conceived. My past avocation had “conduct unprofessional”. HR departments put in all kinds of clauses that may seem stifling or restrictive but the obligation employees have is to comply or go work someplace else.

The funny thing is that this is all Kaepernick’s doing. He could  say whether he plans to kneel or not. He could promise to restrict all off field activities to acts that would not bring disrespect or dishonor to his employer. He could also man up and identify those causes he is passionate about and wants to speak out on, and let each team decide whether he is worth all the baggage he brings.

Or could it be that he knows he sucks and can’t throw anymore? He would rather bitch and moan about him being black-balled then to actually get a chance to prove his worth and have the world find out that he is not worth much at all.


  1. If Dez Bryant kneels, gets benched….

    No worries about that now, Rich. Not in Dallas, at least. 🙂

    I know some will get all worked up that owners can dictate and shape off field activities

    For better or for worse, that’s every job, nowadays. What you do or are *perceived* to do in your private life now has the ability to affect your work life, regardless of what field you’re in and often with little or no due process.

  2. I was going to use Prescott as my Dallas example but with the season he had last year, 86 QB rating, the fans would welcome him being benched.

    My hope is that Kapernick gets his try out and ultimately gets another chance.I think I mentioned this before but his H.S. coach in Turlock is a relative of mine, he told me about this kid back then and how talented he was.

    Good to here from you Kevin, how you been? I could have used your expertise in my sports posts here.

  3. I’ve been lurking at RTFLC as it’s been closing shop and saw that you had made the move here. My wife and I just had kid #2 and so I’m not terribly active over here (or anywhere outside of the house, actually). 🙂

    Glad you’re here!

    I will say, I am slightly less critical of Kap than you are with regards to his talent level in the NFL. He’s way better than a large majority of the 2nd string (and some starters) in the league. However, I agree with you completely regarding the fact that his skill level (no matter where you assess it) is irrelevant if he’s a detriment to the successful operation and profitability of the team. Employment in any field is not an entitlement. Hurting the brand is usually the first way to make sure you’re never employed in that field again. One does not need to agree or disagree with the political statement that he makes to come to a consensus on that fact.

    Hey — off topic — you’re retired, right? I’m struggling with the idea that my wife and I may be retiring while our kids are young teenagers and I’m not sure how that will affect their motivation. My parents led by example and while there are ways for us to demonstrate some of these virtues even in retirement, I fear that others may be undermined by our monthly trips to the French Riviera (yeah…right). You have a good head for these kinds of things. Any advice?

  4. How wise you are to start thinking about that now. I retired at 52, one of the smartest things I ever did, but it takes planning.

    First off, retiring early should not derail any of life’s lessons for your kids. The status of retirement will instill in them the benefits of hard work (that you get to retire early), delaying gratification, saving, and the necessity for planning your life, having a goal and working hard in obtaining or realizing it.

    I’m sure you are already doing this but teach them that life is not fair, there is no free lunch, and that success comes to those that seek it and work for it. Teach them the value of a work ethic and to be grateful. Gratitude is so important. Instill confidence so that the sky really is the limit. Let them fail, let them struggle, it is the only way they will learn to get up and try again. Effort will determine how far they can go.

    I taught my kid a long time ago that the two most important skills he should master; to speak well and write well. The ability to communicate opens every door.

    A few other things;
    Teach them the value of a dollar. Although we can afford stuff, we comparative shop, we do not live extravagantly, we live in moderation.

    Get them involved in the stock market. There are a number of good beginner books on finance. Open up a UGMA brokerage account and let them (within reason) pick their own stocks, this teaches them about risk/reward and the value of research. Along these lines, talk to them about the family finances in general and the necessity for paying off the credit card bill each month.

    Lastly, teach them about charity. Nothing punctuates the point of their affluence more than to be involved with those that aren’t. Over the summer get them over to the local pound to walk and bathe dogs. Get them involved with reading literacy over at the local library. Your local churches are looking for volunteers with feeding and clothing the needy in your area. Your local city rec. dept. needs help with summer sports programs.

    The expectations you place before them will go a long way in their ultimate success and happiness.

  5. kevinmkr welcome back! Congrats on baby #2. How about that run by Michigan in the Big 10 tournrey and the Final Four..

    Nothing punctuates the point of their affluence more than to be involved with those that aren’t.

    I really need to do a better job at this with my kids. They really don’t understand just how good they have it.

  6. I guess I could go tit-for-tat here by mentioning how harrowing it was for the nfl to jump down colin’s throat over him protesting the article of faith that is the national anthem, and in the same breath taking the ever-so-doucheworthy approach of “wait and see” on Ruben foster. Too easy for low dangling fruit?

    The fundamental issue over the kapaernik thing is now not all of the reasons we can conjure to justify firing him, but WHY he got fired. Was the issue purely racially motivated or not? I think to all but the most shameless, that answer is yes. It is a crystal clear message from the nfl brass that you cannot “upset the market” by reminding them that you might be the black guy getting killed by the police. You cannot rock the boat on the anthem because the nfl is in the pocket of armed forces money, and part of the act is hauling out someone at halftime that was mangled in a war and congratulating ourselves for being so patriotic.

    Next, we have to ask ourselves how much we care. To the right wing jingoistic crowd, they didn’t like it at all. To me, I thought it was a pretty ugly display, but I live in the now. There’s bigger shit on most people’s plates than a rich guy getting shit canned over racially charged public outcry. He can hash that out in court.

    This is fine, some sports thrive on markets others gag over. I think nascar racing is the most obnoxious orgy of redneck stereotypes imaginable, but it’s made some people very rich and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being respectful to your customers. I can certainly say kapaernik’s behavior, and protests hit the intended audience right in the nuts in terms of triggering. He picked a hill to die on, and on that hill he most certainly took his last career breath.

    Now, that said, I’m sure absolutely not one kapaernik enemy here has any problem with Laura Ingraham being marched right out of the back of fox and kicked in her ass because left wing snowflake sensibilities have been injured irreparably. I mean this couldn’t be a more apt example of the glass house getting thumped with a few rocks, can it?

    I mean, it’s pretty shitty to ruin ingraham’s career over what might have been some poor decision making in a moment of emotion. It’s certainly in-American to win a war of ideas by silencing your opponent, and Ingraham wouldn’t want THAT to happen to anyone else. That would just be petty and vindictive, and just unbecoming if a freedom loving conservative.

    Stay woke there, freedom crowd.

  7. Thank goodness Trump got that good ol’ Congressional approval before bombing Syria huh, not like that last guy.

  8. The Ingraham comparison isn’t a good one. She’s an opinion journalist. Speaking out about current events and making controversial arguments is literally her job. That’s the first reason it’s a bad counter.

    Second reason is that the complaints about what happened to Ingraham don’t have anything to do with whether or not boycotts are fair play. You’re way off on that. The outrage is over how Hogg has been set up as an untouchable icon who can say whatever nasty thing he wants and absolutely nobody can criticize him without facing ruin.

    Hogg is allowed to use social media to wage targeted harassment against businesses and anybody who attacks him on those same platforms is suspended or demonetized. You really need to understand that before making that comparison.

    If anything, I’d say the more solid parallel is between Kaepernick and James Damore.

  9. Ingraham went a little out of the scope of even hournalism to probe into, and then mock hogg’s attempts to get accepted into college. By ingraham’s very own definition in the tweet I linked, she herself rationalized using “targeted harassment” to boycott advertisers of things she did not like, the clip on the right is her being astounded by it when it happened to her.

    Lastly, by your definition Hogg used social media to direct “targeted harassment” at Ingraham, which was in direct response to Ingraham using her twitter account to mock Hogg. Of course, this means you also logically consider trump using his twitter account to call for the firing of nfl players that did not appropriately stand for the anthem the way he thinks it should have been done ALSO disgraceful targeted harassment, and immature behavior from a 70 year old fat pig. I’m glad we’re able to parse this behavior correctly, finally. A few months ago you celebrated the nfl getting targeted harassment, and even said you didn’t think the cops shooting unarmed and innocent blacks s big deal because it had only been recorded ten times.

  10. Ingraham went a little out of the scope of even hournalism to probe into, and then mock hogg’s attempts to get accepted into college.

    She didn’t “probe into it”. He tweeted about it on the same account he uses for his public political activism. It was fair game.

    By ingraham’s very own definition in the tweet I linked, she herself rationalized using “targeted harassment” to boycott advertisers of things she did not like, the clip on the right is her being astounded by it when it happened to her.

    When I say “targeted harassment”, I’m specifically referencing Twitter’s own rules about that sort of conduct. Hogg is allowed to violate Twitter’s policies but anyone who does the same to him is suspended or banned. Why?

    You keep missing the point when you dwell on whether or not Ingraham should be boycotted. The issue is that Hogg is a public figure who bullies, attacks, and harasses and then hides behind his status as a “survivor” to shut anyone down who criticizes him for it. I was really clear on this point in both of my posts on the topic.

    First time:

    It’s sick that Hogg is constantly allowed to do and say whatever he wants on cable news and social media, but any attempt to challenge or expose him is met with censorship. For whatever reason, he’s been chosen as The Face of this movement, despite his incredibly divisive abrasiveness, appalling ignorance and laughable hypocrisy.

    Second time:

    She may yet be out at Fox News, as advertisers are still dropping her despite the fact that she apologized. This is the reason that I don’t think any conservative should ever submit to the SJW mob, sorry to say, even when they’re wrong. All it does is put blood in the water and set off a frenzy. If you want to know why so many of us who voted for Trump never care that he doesn’t apologize for anything he says or does, look no further than the behavior of your own mobs to understand why, progressive folks. Needless to say, I don’t think Ingraham should have apologized nor did she say anything worse about Hogg than I have.

    There isn’t much I can add on my commentary about Hogg. He’s allowed to call NRA members “murderers”, wage targeted harassment campaigns on Twitter, lie on national television, and throw out profanity-laced tirades against “old ass parents” without consequence. He’s fully protected. Yet any attempt to call him out for anything, even something he, himself, has mentioned on Twitter as a public figure is beyond the pale.

    The idea that I’m arguing against the validity or acceptability of boycotts is wrong. I haven’t said that. You keep focusing on this idea that I’ve said that and that the comparison with the NFL is meaningful, but it isn’t. The issue is over whether or not Hogg, as a public figure, should be subject to the same level of fierce criticism that he engages in himself.

    You’re making a strawman argument, is what I’m saying. It’s great that you think this is somehow a “shoe’s on the other foot” situation with Hogg vs the NFL, but it isn’t what I’ve been saying.

    The issue is not whether people should be boycotted for doing and saying things that make people mad. You’re the only one claiming that this is the argument. All I’ve had to say regarding the boycott is that Ingraham shouldn’t have apologized and weathered it.

    Of course, this means you also logically consider trump using his twitter account to call for the firing of nfl players that did not appropriately stand for the anthem the way he thinks it should have been done ALSO disgraceful targeted harassment

    Again, you’re applying a broad definition to “targeted harassment” where I’m being specific. If Trump told his millions of followers to tweet the NFL and demand that Kaepernick be forced to stand, THAT would be targeted harassment under Twitter’s ToS and they’d be right to suspend his account over it. Hogg routinely tells his followers to tweet at companies who he wants to end support of the NRA or Ingraham. That is what “targeted harassment” on Twitter is and he’s allowed to do it with impunity. Again, why?

    Would anyone say anything about Ingraham going too far if she mocked Kaepernick for not being able to get signed with a team? No, of course not. David Hogg, however, is special. He engages in public political activism–just like Kaepernick–and yet he’s shielded from the same sort of criticism that any other hack would get.

    Not sure why you’re not getting that point. I’ve been pretty clear about it.

  11. It’s because you’re not making a point, you’re hiding in a deflection. You WANT this to be something different when these are, in fact, the same issues mirroring each other. Unfortunately you probably never anticipated the shoe being on the other foot, so now you want to drag the issue off into the weeds as if your viewpoint ever became more nuanced than “fuck the nfl because fuck kapaernik. I enjoy watching it all burn down.”

    The issue is very simple despite you trying to conflate it. You’re not clear, you’re deliberately trying to be obtuse with your previous positions as they relate to the nfl-kapaernik in the hopes of avoiding the comparison that you openly enjoyed watching kapaernik’s career getting shit on by a mob of jingoistic angry hillbillies, yet somehow, you are also so nuanced that Ingraham trying to shit on a teenage school wholting survivor for political views that crossed Fox News and suffering the wrath of a mob is sonehow different. They are not.

    You keep missing the point here, deliberately or indirectly that these two situations are identical. Person a operates within their first amendment right to protest, person b directs a mob to give them shit and the mob follows suit ruining person a’s life.

    This isn’t about the contents of what Hogg said or how you’d like to define targeted harassment for twitter. This isn’t kapaernik saying he thought Castro was a homie, Högg saying nra members are murderers, or Ingraham mocking a teenager for not getting into UCLA and you thinking she should double down on the douchebag behavior for your amusement by not apologizing.

    No sir. This is not about what YOU think is betond the pale, no matter how much you’d like it to be so. Just like when I remarked that the nfl anthem protest wasn’t about what you’d like it to be, no matter how much you wished it so then.

    This is a simple equation you now do not LIKE being compared, and would like to wish it was a straw man:

    Ingraham/kapaernik said/did things that some people didnt like, and the collective “you” thought that gave “you” license to ruin their lives through boycott and “targeted harassment” (whatever that means to twitter, which YOU do not get the luxury of defining for them).

    At the time there were also class to suspend trump’s twitter account and twitter decided not to do it, although there were plenty saying he was targeting kapaernik for harassment.

    The simple fact of the matter is you’d love it if this were a nuanced situation that were completely one sided, but it is not.

  12. I have to wonder how the teams, and the NFL would react if Kap, wore BLM stickers on his helmet, or black shoes. or something on his uniform to show his support for awareness of police brutality…..

  13. You WANT this to be something different when these are, in fact, the same issues mirroring each other.

    No, they’re not. You’re taking a simplistic view of “Ah ha! The NFL got boycotted and now Ingraham is getting boycotted and you Trumpcucklicans are all mad about it! Ha, ha!”

    That isn’t it at all. These outrage mob tactics have been going on for years. I’ve commented on them in multiple posts along with my problem with corporations jumping into Culture War issues. I don’t like it, but I’ve accepted that it’s the norm in modern America. It’s why I didn’t complain about it with regard to what happened with Ingraham. In fact, I predicted things like this would become more and more common.

    I laid it all out here:

    Over the next couple of years, I think we’ll witness many voices on the Right–even those who aren’t white nationalists or supremacists–falling silent. Sponsors will be driven away and websites will be shut down in response to coordinated complaints. The only ones that remain will be the most moderate and toothless. Harmless, even. The Left will enjoy minimal opposition in controlling the narrative and squashing any potential news story that counteracts it. The Right could be deprived of its next generation of influencers and thinkers who will see their social media accounts suspended the minute any of them hits 10,000 followers.

    Hogg is being used as one tool to carry that out, nothing more. This is why CNN allows him to lie on national television without being challenged and Twitter gives him a platform to do what he does. Other social media outlets shut down anybody who challenges his credibility or punches back at him for the vile and dishonest statements he makes.

    Ingraham mocking a teenager for not getting into UCLA

    You clearly have been swallowing the propaganda. This is the actual situation:

    The simple fact of the matter is you’d love it if this were a nuanced situation that were completely one sided, but it is not.

    It IS completely one-sided because Hogg cannot be challenged or criticized for anything he says or does. It’s why this is a totally different situation from Kaepernick’s. Imagine if Kaepernick had started calling for businesses that allow discounts for the Fraternal Order of Police and calling all cops “murderers” and that any cable news pundit who made fun of him for not getting signed with a team risked being out of a job for laughing at him for not getting signed with a team. Because racism. Or because he’s a brain-damaged football player or whatever.

    That would be a precisely similar situation. It isn’t the case though. Kaepernick exercises his free speech rights and takes what consequences comes from it. Hogg is protected so that he faces no consequences, even when he crosses the line from “free speech” to bullying, harassment, and defamation.

    That’s what I’ve been saying all along. I know it’s driving you nuts that I’m not complaining about Ingraham getting boycotted and letting you feel all smug for pointing out my imagined hypocrisy, but I’ve addressed those issues in other posts and there are no inconsistencies.

    All of my complaints about Hogg and how he’s being used by his handlers in the media aren’t nuanced at all. I meant exactly what I said. If you want to keep wearing yourself out by trying to put words in my mouth, keep at it. I can easily produce quotes from my actual arguments that demonstrate to everyone that you’re making it up.

    If you have a serious problem with people’s lives being wrecked for espousing their opinions, then take it up with the SJW’s who use that tactic at every opportunity. I don’t like it any more than you do, but I think it’s fair play. But again: that is not what I’ve been focusing on with regard to Hogg. If he wants to be a public figure (and he very much does) then he has to take the same slings and arrows he lobs at others.

    Truth be told, my problem isn’t so much with him as the people who are using him as one might rescue a pit bull from a shelter and then promptly train it to attack people they don’t like. Whenever the dog bites someone, they would say, “This dog is just a victim! You can’t punish it!”

    That’s Hogg. Sooner or later, he is no longer going to be able to hide behind his “survivor” status. I suppose that’s when he’ll go away since he’ll no longer be of any use to his handlers. For my part, I think he’s already past that point.

  14. Rich, thanks for the great advice. I’m very glad that I asked for your thoughts. I’ve taken them to heart and am going to share them with my wife. As always, there’s gold in experience and I appreciate you letting me mine a bit of yours.

  15. The fundamental issue over the kapaernik thing is now not all of the reasons we can conjure to justify firing him, but WHY he got fired

    Technically, he quit. While it’s true that he’s clearly been blackballed, for lack of a better term, he was contracted to play last season and opted out. Nitpicking.

    kevinmkr welcome back! Congrats on baby #2. How about that run by Michigan in the Big 10 tournrey and the Final Four..

    “Back” is a relative term — not very much free time these days (although I made it out to see The Darkness last Friday). 🙂 Thanks for the congratulations, Santino!

    Your wife must be ecstatic about the tournament! I don’t think there’s any shame in losing to that Nova team — they were an absolute beast. If I’m being honest, I had Michigan losing to Houston (and they almost did!) in my bracket to try and get a leg up on all of my buddies. But I was thrilled to root for them.

  16. Kevin, I don’t know if that French Riviera reference was a joke, but that is something else that would benefit your kids, taking them travelling with you. Immersing them in other cultures, visiting the great landmarks/museums of the world, seeing how other folks live, it also makes them appreciative of all the bounty we have right here at home.

    One of the funnest vacations, according to my kid, was a 2 week trek through the rain forests of Costa Rica we did a few years back.

  17. I don’t know if that French Riviera reference was a joke

    Rich — it was meant to be a reference to opulence — I’m not even sure if it’s relevant anymore but I think you understood the context.

    It’s amazing how many times I’ve already rewritten my parenting guide from pre-children speculation to post-children reality. One of the big pre-children items was the steadfast rule that I wasn’t going to take my kids on big international trips with me until they were much older to appreciate the traveling that my wife and I engage in. My thought being that they wouldn’t appreciate it or get anything out of it until they were older.

    Whether or not that’s true is up for debate (your experience may inform that) but what I never previously considered was that *I* would appreciate it. That was certainly the case last May when we took our son to Greece for a couple of weeks. He was only 3 months removed from his first steps but I have pictures of him frolicking on the Acropolis and the Agora. They are some of my most cherished and innocent photos and I am so glad that we made the choice to bring him with us. In the future, we’ll take it on a case by case basis. I can say, I very much appreciate that my parents *didn’t* take me anywhere when I was younger. It allowed me to discover all of these things on my own. But I think there’s some room in between “all” and “none”.

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