Breaking the NFL Blacklist

Donald Trump is the only person who couldn’t be satisfied with destroying just one football league. Every time he tries to use an issue to ignite his fascist base, he pours gasoline on a bigger fire of working class resentment towards inequality. This is the REAL problem the ruling class has with Trump. These are the NFL players who didn’t stand for the National Anthem last Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers now need a starting QB after HoF-er Aaron Rogers went down with a broken collar-bone last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Packers fans are like most of the rest, willfully accepting (and thus supporting) their GM & ownership, in showing no interest in signing blacklisted-QB Colin Kaepernick. Not even a try-out [!]. Why so many fans support billionaires & cheats is revealed by the fact that most of this is NOT about football. It’s about politics, and class interest directs every loyalty.

GM Ted Thompson & the consortium running the Green Bay Packers, are publicly stating their QB situation is stable, and they like what they have going forwards… In Green Bay it’s two unproven rookies for QB. The 4-2 Packers are going with rookie-QB Brett Hundley this Sunday at Lambeau Field against the 3-2 Saints. This is more-or-less what 20+ other teams (that would also improve themselves by signing QB Colin Kaepernick) are doing.

Here’s some necessary background on how Colin Kaepernick became a free agent, and thus blacklisted. The San Francisco 49ers tried to cut him, before his 2016 salary became guaranteed in March of that year, because he hadn’t fully recovered from sustained injuries. Fortunately for Kaepernick, an NFL player with a guaranteed contract (like CK had), can’t be cut if he’s on the injured list.

Kaepernick was always considered the 49ers starting QB in 2016 from the beginning, he was simply unavailable for the first 6 games– due to injury rehabilitation. He finished the season productive & healthy on a bad team, and opted-out of his contract because the 49ers were going to cut him anyways–  over the Anthem protest controversy he had started. Opting-out was his attempt to get himself into the free agent market early, so he would have as many potential suitors as possible. No one ever called. As we can see, there are OSHA, worker compensation & other rights’ issues here. That’s why this topic is so explosive.

In an ESPN article published yesterday, SF 49ers owner Jed York said, “[I]t’s not about collective bargaining issues, it’s not about workplace environment…,”  when those are precisely the issues. Sports fans need to stop believing lying billionaire team-owners, as this sports-addiction has become too costly for all of us. Too much of it funnels into unhealthy & reactionary tendencies. That is at the heart of this conflict for many, many football fans.

Every time Trump tweets on the NFL, everyone in the league office has their blood-pressure go up 100+ points. When the dust settles, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to sit down with Trump privately, so they can appear to be in unison again– and so it goes on.  Donald Trump simply manipulates anyone (or anything) he wants, to meet whatever reactionary agenda is on his docket. Many powerful people, in even-higher places, are getting tired of his act.

This is clearly a blacklist, and it is why Colin Kaepernick is now suing the NFL and its owners for collusion. If there is justice, Kaepernick will win– or better, he will soon be offered a NFL contract. I expect neither from the owners, nor the bourgeois ‘halls of justice.’

One can take either 1) owner’s & management’s words to heart–like a naive fool; or 2) see through the lies of the NFL, which is blacklisting a quality QB for his political dissent, while threatening to do the same to other players– see Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones [1].

On the flag and respect for military veterans. It isn’t a soldiers’ choice in war, he is sent & obeys because it’s his duty– like all the rest. Meanwhile others such as myself get to go to college… That’s a great divider, in class, and feelings towards war.  My friends & classmates from high school (and ALL others) didn’t serve as soldiers to be used as pawns by politicians of ANY stripe. They served so “We the (Working) People” have the right to call these politicians out as liars & criminals– because they are.

This paranoid reaction of censorship & blacklisting must be met with determined & fierce resistance. Those who served in the military must be allowed to speak for themselves, because those are the rights they fought for– (or were told that’s what they fought for). It turns out that many veteran feel lied-to by Uncle Sam, yet you rarely (if ever) hear that sentiment expressed in the media. Only on the fringes, yet in reality it’s a widespread understanding among veterans that the US government is corrupt to the core.

That’s why most veterans still have guns, and exercise them regularly. They fought for that right too, and are serious about that one in particular. Veterans need to realize that EVERY right for EVERY person needs to be defended with that same vigilance, otherwise ALL rights disappear. In other words, it’s time for them to join the socialist revolution, through the World Socialist Web Site at wsws.org.

Back to sports, which is a business. It hurts as a fan when you grow up and realize the truth. Upon reading the ESPN write-ups of the players-and-owners meeting on Tuesday, I knew the players were lost. They spoke to the press afterwards in terms of, “… getting their message through… constructive conversation…, etc…” Remarkably, no mention of the National Anthem. It was expressly stated by both the owners & players that the issue didn’t come up [!].

The players need to smell the rat here, and it’s the union bureaucracy & their lawyers. The players didn’t even bring up the fundamental issue (which everyone has been talking about for weeks now) to the owners, according to every player account of the Tuesday meeting. If that’s what happened (and it appears it is), then this meeting was clearly a waste of time for everybody, as nothing of substance was discussed.

On hand at the October 17th meeting were NFL Commish Roger Goodell and the league’s football operations chief, former player Troy Vincent.

Owners: Michael Bidwill (Arizona), Arthur Blank (Atlanta), Terry Pegula (Buffalo), Robert McNair (Houston), Shad Khan (Jacksonville), Ross, Robert Kraft (New England), John Mara (New York Giants), Art Rooney (Pittsburgh), Jeffrey Lurie (Philadelphia) and Jed York (San Francisco).

Former player Anquan Boldin, and current players Darius Butler (Colts); Eric Reid (49ers); Russell Okung (Los Angeles Chargers); Kenny Stills, Julius Thomas and Michael Thomas (Miami); Mark Herzlich (New York Giants); Kelvin Beachum and Demario Davis (New York Jets); Malcolm Jenkins [above] and Chris Long (Philadelphia); and Josh Norman (Washington) [1].

Representing the players were NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and president Eric Winston.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn’t even at this Tuesday meeting, basically blowing the players off. The players didn’t even recognize (much less acknowledge) this, in their press comments. Since Jerry Jones is the owner who is driving this issue for all the rest (& NFL commissioner Roger Goodell), the double-cross will come when the players are looking the other way, with assistance from the union. If the chief conspirator can avoid looking his victims in the eye beforehand, so much the better for him and their cause. Who will warn the players by telling them the truth?

The brains of the corruption-ridden NFLPA is black racialist attorney DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA)– elected on March 15, 2009. Prior, DeMaurice Smith was a trial lawyer and litigation partner in a white-collar Washington, D.C. firm. NFL players mostly come from ghettos & poor rural areas, so the hypocrisy in class interests for the rank-and-file in legal representation of the NFL players is clear to Marxists.

The NFL players have basically lost every labor stand-off they’ve ever had with their owners. The NFLPA (union bureaucracy) is staffed with too many ex-players suffering too much CTE brain damage– making these public figures easy prey for ownership manipulation in negotiations. It’s no secret if you actually look at it closely, but not any dummy can figure it out.

The NFL players have no leadership. Note that QB Colin Kaepernick wasn’t invited to this meeting, by any NFL official or authorized union representative of the NFLPA. That explains the rapid movement to the right on this fundamental workers’ rights issue, which every sports fans has a strong opinion on. Many players stated they wanted Kaepernick there, and didn’t know why he wasn’t invited? The NFL players need to elect new leaders for themselves, the same way labor workers need to, on any other job site.

This is fundamentally a labor rights issue. The question becomes: will the NFL players (and eventually the rest of us), be compelled to express political & religious obedience on command? If you don’t have the right to oppose tyranny & lies, then it’s dictatorship with a military-intelligence-police-state apparatus controlling everything, through Wall Street & the banks. This must be opposed with true democracy, which can only be achieved through a socialist revolution in permanence.

 

      1. Working Class

 

………….<><><><><><><>………..

National Anthem Protocol for Revolutionists

There has been much talk about behavior during the playing of the National Anthem at sporting events. Notice how it’s always the behavior of the players (workers), that is the focus of discussion. The owners & fascist fans can do whatever they want, but the players must be strictly controlled & censured. Each league has now re-iterated and/or clarified it’s policy during the National Anthem performance [1].

Of course, few ever bother to ask the most-important question, “Why is this song even played before sporting events?” That question is not allowed to be asked, and if you do, you are blacklisted by the “legitimate” media & political world. Americans are divided over the National Anthem on class lines. This fact is always concealed by ESPN & the rest of the corporate fake media.

One of the silver linings to being blacklisted is that you can do whatever you want, because it doesn’t matter– as you are permanently shut out of the mainstream. You will never see ideas such as these expressed in corporate-controlled mass media.  In that spirit, these are my suggestions on how to approach this hot-button topic. I encourage others who feel similarly, to express yourself in a way that makes you feel comfortable, while staying true. By the way, all this also applies to “God Bless America,” (or anything else that shouldn’t be played) during the 7th-inning stretch, etc.

For many like me, the National Anthem is a convenient bathroom break, so as a rule I never kneel for it, although I sometimes squat. I’m not alone, as the bathroom is usually crowded while the Anthem is being performed. No one takes their hat off, or stops mid-piss in the john. These are just personal observations from 40+ years of attending virtually every type of sporting event in the United States.

Professionally speaking, I don’t think “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a very good song. I was never all that moved by it, even as a child. But I will admit that I’ve sung it a lot, as it’s a useful song. By this I mean, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a very difficult song to sing well. Therefore it is an excellent vocal-training tool. I’ve never sung it before an audience.

When the lyrics hit, “… and the rockets’ red glare,” is when most amateurs lose it. Often the Anthem performance is painful to watch/hear, especially when done by kids, but you are never allowed to be critical of that– after all this is AMERICA! We won’t allow our kids (who are trying their best) to be “bullied.”  So to be fair, here instead is one of the most infamous adult examples of Francis Scott [off]Key:

Beyond being a voice training tool, I don’t see much else of value here. It’s primary function (of course) is its nefarious use by the ruling class to whip up nationalism & militarism among under-educated workers & the rest. Why do team owners & their leagues fear these protests so much? To ask the question is to answer it, as it indicates how class divided we are as a society. This fact must be concealed at all costs, by the haves.

Free speech means you have the right to say whatever someone else deems as “most offensive,” just as long as you don’t threaten, libel, or cause a panic. It’s also free speech to stand like a zombie when the Anthem plays & the flag waves. We all make choices and live with them. Colin Kaepernick (SF 49ers), Bruce Maxwell (Oakland A’s), and every other athlete have this right, and those of us fighting fascism encourage every athlete to exercise it. As they have pointed out– too many don’t have a voice, so professional athletes are now behooved to stand up for them.

As far as Trump demanding respect for the flag goes, respect is a two-way street. Evidentially in order for 2016 NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson to get a White House invite, he has to hail Trump, while declaring his unabiding loyalty. Otherwise, no invitation. Jimmie Johnson has already said he supports everyone’s right to make their own decision, while personally standing for the flag & anthem [2]. That’s just not good enough, for everyone from Donald Trump to the liberal-Democrat McCarthyists who have censored the Internet and blacklisted all political opposition.

Do you know who the least likely people to stand and pay attention for “The Star-Spangled Banner” are?” Answer: The rich folks in the box seats. Check for yourself next time, if you don’t believe that. No one tunes in, or pays for a ticket to see the National Anthem performed, in any sport. Tell anyone who gives you flak on this, to get real with their hypocritical indignity, and then look for the class interest behind their attacks. The National Anthem (and the flag) are used as tools for class control. Working people must be made to bow before them, because it symbolizes the rule of wealth under capitalism.

 

      1. Land of the Free

 

The truth of truths here is that taking a knee, while courageous at first, still isn’t enough. Sports don’t unite us, they divide us– daily, in so many ways. That’s why front-row seats cost so much more. It’s a different game when you’re watching from the nose-bleed seats, isn’t it!? Within all this, the athletes themselves are divided, because their salaries are so varied. Rookies are generally underpaid, while veterans are overpaid. There are only a few superstars in each sport, and they usually get all the ink, especially when labor issues arise.

Taking a knee, now gives ANY athlete an opportunity to express themselves. Most still don’t, out of fear of being blacklisted. Colin Kaepernick is most-definitely blacklisted by the NFL, as he’s easily a top-10 QB– which ~20 teams need. Winning on the field is important to most owners, but protecting their wealth is EVERYTHING. Sports are owned by billionaires, who provide a vehicle for the rulers of capitalism (Wall Street & Madison Avenue) to exercise mind-control class warfare on the population.

In the end, we watch sports because we love them. These athletes do things we can’t, and it’s fun (and sometimes amazing) to watch them work. Most fans are with the athletes in all this, as they (at least) can feel things being manipulated, even if they don’t fully understand it. Many others already know, and their numbers are increasing daily.

This is what the ruling class fears above all else: a movement from the working people that gets out of their control. Modern sports, combined with social media and the Internet, now provide global links for discussions that can create worker solidarity across all fields.  That is the power which fans & athletes must harness into a revolution, in order to stop this unending cycle of capitalist violence.

If this isn’t done, be forewarned that fascism is preparing itself for a hostile takeover. It’s political base is still weak, and they can still be contained & defeated, but only through conscious revolutionary action. Anything less is an empty gesture.

…………<><><><><><><>……….