Adam Crowley

Adam Crowley

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Sorry Roger, the Players Hold the Power

Since George Floyd was murdered on May 25th, this country has seen a historic few weeks.

It finally seems as though black people in the United States are sharing in their #MeToo movement. Black Lives do Matter, and there has been real, tangible change in the fight against police brutality.

Nine Minneapolis City Council members voted to dismantle the police force in the very town where George Floyd was killed by a former police officer.

The NYPD Police Commissioner has been fired.

Two members of the Buffalo PD were arrested for assaulting a 75-year old man.

There are more examples of this going on national wide. Protesters are marching in the streets and their messages are being heard.

In the NFL, a group of players held Roger Goodell's feet to the fire when they released a video calling for the Commissioner to apologize and acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement.

He did.

Is the NFL willing to allow players to kneel this fall?

We know Donald Trump is not on board.

Goodell and Trump need to realize that they don't have any say in this matter any longer. If players choose to protest and kneel down during the national anthem there's really nothing they can do about it.

Here's why: Patrick Mahomes was the 2018 NFL MVP. He was the 2019 Super Bowl MVP. LaMar Jackson was the 2019 NFL MVP. Russell Wilson, DeShaun Watson, and Dak Prescott each play the most important position in sports.

They're all stars.

Each of the men mentioned above is a black man. It's conceivable, if not likely, that each of those men will kneel down in protest during the national anthem this fall.

What are you going to do Roger? Fine your most prominent players? Suspend the faces of your league?

In the thick of the Kaepernick protest era, Roger Goodell and the NFL owners were cowards. They were afraid to let politics interfere with their league. They were trying to protect their bottom line.

What do you think happens to the NFL's precious bottom line if players like Jackson and Mahomes are suspended for kneeling down? It wouldn't be good for the league.

The players hold all the power here and I think it is important that they do kneel in 2020.

As mentioned above, we've seen that change can come when protests are holding people accountable. Truthfully, though, it's easy right now when there's nothing else going on. We are in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and the issues of police brutality and systematic racism are in the forefront of everyone's minds.

This fall, we could have the NFL, NCAA Football, NBA, MLB, and the NHL all in action at one time. Life as we know it could be returning to as close to normal as it has been in months.

We've got to keep our eye on the ball. Marches and public protests may die down. Other stories, trivial and otherwise, will become front and center.

NFL stars can ensure that we don't forget about the issue of police brutality and they can help see to it that George Floyd didn't die in vain.

They've got the power should they choose to wield it.

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