By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN
On Friday, Feb. 15th, the NFLPA released a statement saying that the NFL has reached a settlement with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid in their collusion case against the NFL.
This came this afternoon in the form of a press release… https://t.co/nVl9fTaF7G
— Our Turf Football (@ourturffb) February 15, 2019
The almost 3-year saga has, for all intents and purposes, has come to a sort of anti-climactic close.
Regardless of if you support Kaepernick and Reid or not, it opened up dialog. Or at least attempted to. I had a hard time finding people who could civilly discuss this online, but hopefully more civil discussions were had in “real life”.
NFL has given millions to @playercoalition (and used its political muscle to support policies), has now paid Kaep millions, and after 2 years has no “anti protest” policy. Large #s of NFL fans (and writers) are now actively engaged in conversations about criminal justtice reform.
— Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier) February 16, 2019
Whether you felt that sports and politics should be separate or not, it still brought up an idea that there are issues bigger than the game. And yes, most players do other things with their influence, like Texans defensive end J. J. Watt who helped the victims of Hurricane Harvey, or like former running back Warrick Dunn who builds homes for single-parent families. Bringing attention to things such as social justice issues is just as good, in my opinion.
You see, to whom much is given, much is required. And football players have been given much. They’ve got a platform that they can use to start to attempt to bring change. If it’s building homes in their communities or refurbishing youth centers and playing fields, it’s something. Using their influence to help improve policies and open up a dialog between communities and law enforcement, in the case of Kaepernick, Reid and others, are just as helpful as building wells in Africa.
Regardless of your feelings, I think this helped open most people’s eyes that football is more than just a game.
I hope that the dialog of the past few years has challenged you to make a difference in your community in some way, shape or form.
Follow Sonja on Twitter // @Mom23RN