Category Archives: Sports

Colin Kaepernick a finalist for ‘TIME’ Person of Year

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Image: Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports

Free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick was announced Monday as one of 10 candidates for TIME’s Person of the Year for 2017.

Kaepernick, who last played for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, joins President Donald Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller and the #MeToo movement, among others, on the short list for recognition. Each year, the magazine strives to identify “the person or group of people who most influenced the news during the past year, for better or for worse.”

Trump was recognized by the magazine in 2016, and German chancellor Angela Merkel was its 2015 recipient. TIME will announce its latest “Person of the Year” on Wednesday.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to take a knee during the national anthem last year, describing it as a means of protesting police brutality and racial inequality in the United States. He became a free agent in March and has yet to sign with an NFL team this season, prompting him to file a collusion grievance against NFL owners.

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NFL, Players Coalition reach accord to provide nearly $90 million to aid activism; anthem protests unresolved

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) is a leader of a group of NFL players discussing a deal with the league regarding its support of player activism. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

NFL player representatives and league officials reached an agreement Wednesday night for the league to provide financial support to players’ community-activism endeavors, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.

The tentative agreement does not directly address the ongoing protests by players during the national anthem, multiple people familiar close to the situation said earlier in the evening.

Owners have been hopeful that an agreement with the players on activism would lead all players to voluntarily stand for the anthem. But divisions on the players’ side that became evident earlier Wednesday could lead to the protests continuing even with the deal in place.

The tentative agreement is subject to approval by NFL owners. The owners are scheduled to meet in December in Dallas but might not take up the issue until the annual league meeting in March.

The league and teams are to provide approximately $90 million between the onset of the arrangement and 2023 to social causes deemed important by the players, focused in particular on African American communities, a person familiar with the talks confirmed earlier Wednesday. The terms of the league’s proposal were first reported Wednesday morning by ESPN.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been active in the discussions and has been dealing directly with players, especially those in a group known as the Players Coalition led by Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and former NFL wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Earlier Wednesday, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid and Miami Dolphins safety Michael Thomas announced they were withdrawing from the Players Coalition, citing differences with Jenkins and Boldin about how discussions with the league were proceeding.

Reid is closely associated with former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the protest movement last season. Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem before games to protest the treatment of African Americans by police in the United States.

Reid joined Kaepernick in those protests and is among the players who have continued to protest during the anthem this season, drawing harsh criticism by President Trump and some fans. The defections of Reid and Thomas from the group of players dealing with the league seem to greatly reduce or eliminate the chances that the agreement will end the players’ protests entirely.

Representatives of the players met with owners and NFL leaders in October at the NFL’s offices in New York. The owners then held their regularly scheduled fall meeting and left without enacting a rule requiring players to stand for the anthem.

Goodell and owners said then that they want players to stand for the anthem. But they said that most owners were not ready to take action to require it. Goodell and the owners said they were focused instead on their discussions with the players about activism. They cautioned, however, that there was no explicit or implied agreement that league support of players’ activism necessarily would lead to all players standing for the anthem.

Some owners believe that, if the protests last through season’s end, owners will act during the offseason to revert next season to the league’s pre-2009 policy of players remaining in the locker room before games until after the anthem is played, according to multiple people close to the situation.

By Mark Maske/WashingtonPost

Posted by The NON-Conformist

 

ESPN president announces another round of layoffs

ESPN president John Skipper announced in a memo to employees Wednesday that the company is laying off approximately 150 employees.

Skipper wrote in the memo that the majority of the eliminated positions are in studio production, digital content and technology rather than front-facing talent.

“We will continue to invest in ways which will best position us to serve the modern sports fan and support the success of our business,” Skipper wrote.

Sporting News first reported last month that ESPN would be making another round of layoffs. Those affected will receive severance pay, a 2017 bonus and the continuation of health benefits, according to the memo.

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Colin Kaepernick files grievance accusing NFL teams of colluding against him

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who remains unemployed after a 2016 season in which he began the movement of players protesting during the national anthem, has filed a grievance accusing NFL teams of colluding to keep him out of the league, his legal representatives said.

Kaepernick retained Los Angeles-based attorney Mark J. Geragos to pursue the collusion claim and, according to a person with knowledge of the filing, it will be Kaepernick’s outside legal representation and not the NFL Players Association primarily in charge of preparing and presenting his case.

Geragos’s firm confirmed the grievance, saying it filed “only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives.”

In a statement, the law firm’ also said: “If the NFL . . . is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the Executive Branch of our government. . . . Protecting all athletes from such collusive conduct is what compelled Mr. Kaepernick to file his grievance.”

 

The collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union prohibits teams from conspiring to make decisions about signing a player. But the CBA also says the mere fact that a player is unsigned and evidence about the player’s qualifications to be on an NFL roster do not constitute proof of collusion.

For that reason, such cases are difficult to prove, according to legal experts.

“There has to be some evidence of an agreement between multiple teams not to sign a player,” said Gabriel Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane University. “Disagreement over personnel decisions, as obvious as it may seem to someone looking at this, does not provide evidence of collusion. There has to be some evidence of an explicit or implied agreement. There has to be proof of a conspiracy.”

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following last season, making him a free agent eligible to sign with any team. The 49ers have said they would have released Kaepernick rather than retaining him under the terms of that deal. He has remained out of work, being passed over by other teams in favor of other quarterbacks. The Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens considered signing Kaepernick but decided against doing so.

More recently, the Tennessee Titans signed Brandon Weeden to provide depth behind backup Matt Cassel when their starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota, was hurt. That signing seemed particularly inflammatory to Kaepernick supporters who cited Kaepernick’s superior career accomplishments. Kaepernick has led the 49ers to a Super Bowl and two NFC championship games and he threw 16 touchdown passes with four interceptions for them last season.

The NFLPA issued a written statement late Sunday saying it learned of Kaepernick’s grievance through media reports and that it had learned the league previously was informed of Kaepernick’s intention to file the grievance.

“Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him,” the NFLPA’s written statement said, adding that it had been in regular contact with Kaepernick’s representatives over the past year about his options and planned to schedule a call for this week with his advisers.

Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem before games last season to protest, he said, racial inequality and police mistreatment of African Americans in the United States. Those protests were taken up by other players and the controversy over them has been amplified this season even with Kaepernick out of the league.

President Trump called on NFL owners to “fire” players who protested during the anthem, referring to such a player as a “son of a bitch.” Vice President Pence walked out of a game last week between the 49ers and Colts in Indianapolis, citing players’ protests. Trump indicated that he had orchestrated that plan.

Under pressure from the White House, NFL owners are scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday in New York and might seek the NFLPA’s support of a measure for players to stand for the anthem, according to multiple people familiar with the sport’s inner workings, while also pledging league support for players’ community activism efforts.

Some media members have contended since the offseason that Kaepernick was being blackballed by NFL teams based on his political stance. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and owners were asked about that contention on a number of occasions and denied that teams were acting in concert on Kaepernick because of his protests.

“Each team makes individual decisions on how they can improve their team,” Goodell at conclusion of NFL owners’ meeting in May in Chicago. “If they see an opportunity to improve their team, they do it. They evaluate players. They evaluate systems and coaches. They all make those individual decisions to try and improve their team.”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told reporters in July, according to the Palm Beach Post: “I would sure hope not. I know a lot’s been written about it, but you know owners and coaches — they’ll do anything it takes to win. If they think he can help them win, I’m sure — I would hope they would sign him.”

The plan for Kaepernick to pursue a grievance under the CBA was first reported by Bleacher Report.

“It may seem obvious to Colin Kaepernick,” Feldman said in a phone interview Sunday. “It may seem obvious to someone on the outside looking at this. But collusion requires an agreement [between teams]. Individual team decisions are not challengeable under the anti-collusion provision. An arbitrator is not going to second-guess an individual team’s personnel decision.”

If such evidence of collusion by NFL teams against Kaepernick exists, it has yet to revealed.

“We don’t know,” Feldman said. “Obviously everybody is talking about the baseball collusion cases from the 1980s, where there was a smoking gun. There were notes. There was strong evidence. There may be evidence here of collusion. We just don’t know.”

The NFL declined to comment Sunday through a spokesman.

“No Club, its employees or agents shall enter into any agreement, express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club, its employees or agents to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making,” the CBA says, adding that applies to “whether to negotiate or not to negotiate with any player” and “whether to offer or not to offer a Player Contract to any player,” among other things.

The CBA also says: “The failure by a Club or Clubs to negotiate, to submit Offer Sheets, or to sign contracts with Restricted Free Agents or Transition Players, or to negotiate, make offers, or sign contracts for the playing services of such players or Unrestricted Free Agents, shall not, by itself or in combination only with evidence about the playing skills of the player(s) not receiving any such offer or contract, satisfy the burden of proof set forth … above.”

By Mark Maske/WashingtonPost

Posted by The NON-Conformist

President Trump rips NFL for getting ‘tax breaks’ while disrespecting anthem, flag

Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country? Change tax law!

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Posted by Libergirl

WTF!

I was thinking a bit about Colin Kaepernick the much maligned quarterback for the San Fransisco 49ers who by the way will be starting this Sunday, but a name came up that I highly despise, that name sister Sarah Palin the idiot savant of nothingness. she had a message for Colin, the message reads.

America – let’s sack this ungrateful punk.
Kaepernick – yeah, you’re really “down with the oppressed” in this nation. Enjoying your $114 million contract, your previous adoring fans, sucking up a life of luxury… GOD AND COUNTRY GAVE YOU THIS OPPORTUNITY. You can’t acknowledge that? Then on behalf of every Vet I’m privileged to know: GET THE HELL OUT.

– Sarah Palin

Her message is first of all very insulting. If their is a god then he or she or it did a bad job with this Country. I would say he(Colin) was successful because of his skill and Country had nothing to do with it. Blacks had to fight to get a seat at the table and we’re still fighting for self determination. Since you have come up, you’ve gone into hibernation which is a good thing. But to tell a grown man to get the hell out is troublesome and insulting. Why don’t you take your ass back to Europe and try reading a book about the history of this Country specifically foreign policy.

As football fan I have a joke for you. What do you call a white man surrounded by ten black guys…a quarterback. Racism permeates the inner core of this Country. While Sister Sarah is making a point she falls in line with white privilege and white supremacy. The position of quarterback represents white privilege. The former racist President Theodore Roosevelt who is having a few issues these days and all fair. To know more about him read The Imperial Cruise by Jame Bradley. In 1906 Theodore Roosevelt said “the quarterback position represents the founding fathers of America, it represents the President of this Country a position a black man will never obtain. The quarterback position represents leadership, decision making and authority.”

Let’s continue supporting Kaepernick in his fight for justice. If people come to you about the military, don’t answer, he never mentioned it. But ask them to tell you the history of the national anthem and the war of 1812… the real history! Its funny, but do you tell the Jews to stand for the German national anthem if it was written by Joseph Goebbels? I leave you with a quote from my favorite writer.

“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
James Baldwin

Written by The NON-Conformist

Raised-fist protesters Smith, Carlos support Kaepernick

Image: AP

Tommie Smith and John Carlos were proud to raise their gloved fists in a symbolic protest at the Olympics, and now they’re proud that Colin Kaepernick and other athletes are staging national anthem protests to raise awareness about racial inequality and police brutality.

The American sprinters who were sent home from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics for what they called a “human rights salute” say the San Francisco 49ers quarterback and others are right to use their platform in an attempt to affect social change 48 years later.

“Don’t hate the kid because he stood up for something to change,” said Smith, who won the gold medal and set a world record in the 200 meters in 1968. “He stood up for the right to exercise Amendment 1.”

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