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?