ColumnistsD Kevin McNeirEditor's ColumnOpinion

EDITOR’S COLUMN: Seahawks Show True Colors — Sign White-Collar Criminal but Kick Kaepernick to the Curb

The Seattle Seahawks surprised football fans with their decision to sign former Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks last Friday, despite the fact that he pleaded guilty to insider trading charges earlier in October — allowing for the possibility that when sentenced in December, he could face up to 25 years in prison. Then, in quick fashion, the NFL turned around and suspended Kendricks for eight games because of his admission. So, he can return to the team on week 12 and resume playing week 14 — just in time for the Seahawks’ home game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Of course, Seattle knew what they were doing. But they needed someone like Kendricks to stand in for K.J. Wright who had been recovering from knee surgery he had back in August and who made his season debut last weekend in a win at Detroit.

So, exit Kendrick after helping out the team for three games. Thanks for the memories.

Ironically, the Seahawks have done nothing wrong — at least not according to the rules of the league. But ethically, well, that’s another matter.

But what about their decision to bow out of earlier plans announced during the offseason when they expressed interest in Colin Kaepernick — plans for a workout that they subsequently scratched and never re-scheduled? Seems that Kaepernick just can’t get a fair shake because of his role in the national anthem protests that have surrounded the NFL for the past two years. Because he exercised his rights as a citizen, Kaepernick has become a scapegoat in the NFL and hasn’t played since the 2016 season.

He’s filed a grievance against NFL owners for collusion, claiming they worked together to keep him off the field because of his protests not his football abilities. I say, who in good conscience could refute his claim? But he remains on the outside looking in, sidelined because of his beliefs.

That’s the way the ball bounces at least in the National Football League — and it’s just plumb wrong.

Still, I’m not surprised. After all, in America, those who commit white collar crimes like Kendricks tend to get a slap on the wrist, a private pat on the back and a quick visit to a comfortable federal institution. Just ask Rod Blagojevich or Martha Stewart.

But what crime has Kaepernick really committed? None. He stood his ground, lending his support in the midst of a racially divisive conundrum. Too bad that when the smoke cleared, it was apparent that he had unfortunately stood on the wrong side — leading the way for others who quickly turned their backs on him when they could have evoked significant change had they banded together.

I used to really admire the Seattle Seahawks. But since their display of hypocrisy for all the world to see, I’ve relinquished my support and put my Super Bowl champion T-shirt in the bottom of my closet.

I wonder who’s next in line?

D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents, the native Detroiter engineered a transformation of The Miami Times resulting in its being named the NNPA’s “Publication of the Year” in 2011 – just one of several dozen industry-related awards he’s earned in his career. He currently serves as senior editor for The Washington Informer. There, in the heart of the U.S. Capitol, he displays a keen insight for developing front-page news as it unfolds within the greater Washington area, capturing the crucial facts and facets of today’s intriguing, political arena. He has degrees from The University of Michigan, Emory University and Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2020, he received First Place for Weekly Newspaper, Commentary & Criticism, Society of Professional Journalists, Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter. Learn more about him at www.dkevinmcneir.com, Facebook – Kevin McNeir, Twitter - @mcneirdk, Linkedin – D. Kevin McNeir or email: mcneirdk@washingtoninformer.com.

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One Comment

  1. I ride or die with my Oakland Raiders but sincce Kap who has a Super Bowl appearance and cannot get a invite to training camp shows the open racism in the NFL.I am boycotting football until Kap gets a job. A man that won’t stand for something will fall for anything.

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