It's as if the National Football League is okay with being the "No Fun League." It's as if the most popular sport in the United States and definitely one of the most popular across the world is okay with being flaky when asked to do the right thing.
Take a minute and look at the picture I posted for this story. What do you see? Do you see something that directly harms one person or another? Can you legitimately find a reason why this particular image is detrimental to anyone inside or outside the NFL?
The Cowboys unveiled the decal during a ceremony with Dallas city and police officials on the first day of training camp as a sign of unity and solidarity following the tragic shootings of five police officers last month.
(NFL Vice President Stephen) Jones said the team respects the league’s decision and its strict uniform policies. (Star-Telegram)
It's one thing to argue the bad decisions the NFL has made in rejecting ideas from their teams and players in order to honor and remember those close to them. It's another to blatantly disregard some of the people who are most important to protecting our society and our freedoms to enjoy the great game of football.
I understand that under certain collective bargaining agreements that were reached a year or two ago, the NFL has been consistent with their decisions to disallow players to modify their team's uniform or use any unauthorized materials/items on the field of play during the season.
For example, take Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams. Back in 2015, he petitioned to the NFL that he wanted to wear pink the entire season in tribute to his mother who died from breast cancer. If you're familiar at all with special events, you may know that the NFL deemed the month of October "Breast Cancer Awareness Month," and they have mandated uniform pieces that players and coaches are allowed to wear in support of such a cause.
So why deny DeAngelo Williams the opportunity to wear pink all season? Are you purporting the idea that if one person is allowed to do it, then all of a sudden every single player will want to do the same thing? I don't think the NFL's governing body truly understands that promoting breast cancer awareness and wearing pink for such a cause is such a detrimental statement toward anyone. This wouldn't even hurt the league. All the league has to do is go through their CBA and determine which brands and equipment/uniform pieces are allowed to be slightly modified during the month of October. Then, they could give Williams the option to modify that part of his uniform.
Additionally, do you, the NFL, really think you're doing any harm to your fans across the world if you're accepting the fact that Williams and others want to honor their loved ones for an important cause that affects not just those related to professional athletes?
Let's look at another example: Devon Still is a defensive lineman for the Cincinnati Bengals. He gained much more notoriety for his journey through the 2015 season in being a supportive father to his young daughter, Leah, who was battling Stage 4 cancer. It's just heart-breaking yet so heart-warming at the same time what both Stills were enduring through the course of the season.
So, when Devon decided to wear eye black with the words "Leah Strong" written across the material, he admitted that the NFL didn't fine him for such an act. Why? Why wouldn't the NFL do that? That makes no sense since a few weeks prior, Steelers defensive end Cameron Hayward was hit with a near $5,700 fine for doing practically the same thing. Hayward's father, former NFL player Craig "Ironhead" Hayward, had died in 2006. Cameron wrote "Iron Head" across his eye black.
What's with the hypocrisy, NFL? You're more captivated by a young girl battling cancer than one of your own dying a few years prior? You don't think the stories are equivalent? Surely, you don't. Oh, and we can't ever forget the five St. Louis Rams players that decided to come out of their locker room and on to the field with their "hands up, don't shoot" plea. This was in support of the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, on the heels of black teenager/young adult Michael Brown who was fatally shot by a St. Louis police officer. The NFL decided not to fine these players for implementing what's been deemed a completely fabricated part of the story of what happened that fateful night.
However, let's get back to the issue at hand, police officers do not get enough respect that they so very well deserve. They have a rough task at hand already, and surely they're under bigger microscopes and much more intense scrutiny that 10, 20 and 30 years ago. So, please answer me this: why would you allow mega-star singer Beyonce sing at your Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show and promote the idea of an anti-cop agenda? This makes absolutely zero sense.
Yes, it's very true, as I've unequivocally stated numerous times throughout my blog entries, I know that black men, women and children have been disproportionately affected by law enforcement and police officers. However, what I don't understand is how anyone can accept the idea that we should be anti-cop while trying to come up with a solution to fix the problem with our inner cities.
Look at this, NFL. A sniper. A coward. A worthless piece of whatever you want to call him. This less-than-human runt didn't deserve to live after murdering five of our bravest men trying to protect one of the crown jewel metropolitan cities. I'm not ranting about the guy. However, when you want to praise the shooter in a completely unprovoked attack on our men and women in blue, then you'll receive no sympathy from me.
I will not completely stop watching the National Football League because I think the contests are some of the best that television has to provide. However, I will not willingly buy tickets to a game, purchase official merchandise or support the league any longer until their public relations department does a major overhaul and their collective bargaining agreement has gone through numerous revisions to add the words "common sense" back to their legalese.
This is an embarrassment that the league will probably brush under the rug and the further they let this continue, the less and less interested I'll be in supporting them. They should've been more welcoming to the idea that we support our law enforcement. We can come up with solutions to help fix problems, no matter how difficult and impossible they may seem. In doing that, we must work with our police officers and show them the respect and love they deserve for the difficult job they have on a daily basis.