February 17, 2019

THE GOAT:

Kaepernick Won. The NFL Lost. (Jemele Hill, 2/17/19, The Atlantic)

Owners and coaches already had given depositions in Kaepernick's case and the details that emerged from those proceedings did not look good for the NFL.

For one, the depositions showed just how much league owners were petrified of President Trump, who had loudly criticized the player protests. According to The Wall Street Journal, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones testified in a deposition that in a phone conversation with Trump, the president told him, "This is a very winning, strong issue for me" and "Tell everybody, you can't win this one. This one lifts me."

Trump felt that public sentiment was on his side when it came to the player protests, and was warning that he would not back off. That conversation with Jones, and separate ones with Miami owner Stephen Ross and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, suggested that the league was allowing their fear of Trump to influence how it dealt with Kaepernick and the other protesters.

Had Kaepernick's case gone further, there was no question that more sensitive and damaging information would have come out. Who knows what was said about Kaepernick or other players in texts and emails. Even if Kaepernick lost the case, the NFL would have been left with a significant mess.

There are some who already are criticizing Kaepernick for settling, not realizing how rare it is to see the NFL backed into a corner, especially by a player. Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback ever, couldn't beat the NFL in court. Even he eventually had to accept his four-game suspension for Deflategate in 2016.

Posted by at February 17, 2019 9:43 AM

  

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