Somehow I don’t think the Intelligence Committee will have time to get around to investigating this one, what with all of the Ukraine stuff going on, but you never know.
Donald Trump gets blamed for all manner of things by the mainstream media (and their friends in the Democratic Party). Global warming, children in cages and the general decline and fall of civilization are all things he’s typically held responsible for. But this weekend a new “scandal” was tossed onto the pile. The President is apparently the reason that Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have a job as a starting quarterback in the NFL this year. This showed up last night at Yahoo News.
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith explained on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning that team owners could potentially lose billions of dollars in revenue if they went against Trump, who has been vocal in his hatred of Kaepernick. The NFL is currently trying to get gambling legalized, and that requires the thumbs up from the President and Congress.
“Well, what was going on on Capitol Hill is that the owners, the NFL owners were trying to get involved with that, where they were trying to get a percentage of the bets and all of this other stuff that was going on. So what happens is, we’re talking billions. Well, guess what? In order for that to happen, you need Congress to sign off on it and you need the President to sign off on it. What you don’t need is the President turning his attention towards you and going against you just because he doesn’t like you.”
In case you’re wondering where this latest flap originated, it all appears to have stemmed from one article at an outlet called Pop Culture. And what was their source for this exclusive, breaking news story? A radio interview with an ESPN sports analyst.
Stephen A. Smith is saying that the President holds a lot of influence with the NFL franchise owners. (Possibly true in some cases, but there’s not a lot of intersection there.) From that starting point, he launches into a story about how the NFL wants to see sports gambling further legalized so the league can pick up a big cut of that action. This is also not really in doubt. They’ve been pushing the idea for a while now.
From there, Smith goes on to claim that Trump probably let the owners know if any of them hired Kaepernick he’d be “angry” with them. And if the President is angry, he might not agree to sign off on any deal that would let the legalized gambling move forward.
What evidence does the ESPN analyst offer to show that this actually happened? None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. It’s just a “feeling” that he has. The claim is described as something that Smith “believes.” The social media uproar that followed all quoted him as “suggesting” or “hinting” that this happened.
This is extraordinarily obvious. Every NFL owner knows that if they allow Kap on their team they are going to be excoriated by Trump.
— Mike Farquad (@FarquadMike) September 29, 2019
And yet not one shred of evidence has been offered. But hey, who needs evidence of anything in 2019?
There is no movement on further gambling legislation that would benefit the NFL currently in danger of being sent to the President’s desk. There’s not much indication that he even pays any attention to football except where the players do things that intersect with cultural politics and then he rants about it for a while on Twitter. Trump picks on Kaepernick because he’s become something of a cultural touchstone on the right.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick finished his last pro season with a rather mediocre record and there were a lot of seasoned, experienced quarterbacks available out there, along with some highly anticipated rookies. Was he good enough to land a position somewhere? Probably. But as I’ve stated here countless times, there is an unofficial but very real rule in the NFL. The amount of crap your team is willing to put up with regarding your off-field antics is directly proportional to how likely they believe you are to get them to the Super Bowl. (That’s why Antonio Brown still had a job at the beginning of the season. The guy creates endless horrible headlines but he’s a yardage machine.) Kaepernick came out on the losing end of that calculation and that’s why he’s watching the season from home.