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Wasserman writes: "For many years, I have held two shares in America's only publicly owned major sports team, the Green Bay Packers. There are no dividends, no special seats, no stadium perks. I cannot sell the shares."

Green Bay Packers fans. (photo: Mike Morbeck/TheProgressive)
Green Bay Packers fans. (photo: Mike Morbeck/TheProgressive)


As a Team Owner, I Demand the Green Bay Packers Hire Colin Kaepernick

By Harvey Wasserman, Progressive.Org

17 October 17

 

or many years, I have held two shares in America’s only publicly owned major sports team, the Green Bay Packers. There are no dividends, no special seats, no stadium perks. I cannot sell the shares. I can only pass them on to immediate family. But owning these shares does in fact make me a part-owner. And as such, I am registering my first demand: The Pack must hire Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick’s pathbreaking “take a knee” before the national anthem guarantees him an historic place in the civil rights hall of fame. Begun last year, it is a carefully considered,well-timed, and very public call to pay attention to ongoing police brutality toward black people in this country.

Since Kaepernick quiety began his protest as a San Francisco 49er, hundreds of athletes in various sports at all levels have joined in. Rarely in history has series of protests sparked such a riveting dialog, or been so widely misconstrued. As Kaepernick’s teammate and fellow protester, Eric Reid, wrote in a New York Times op ed: “It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag, and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite.”

Kaepernick and Reid knelt while on the roster of the San Francisco 49ers, who are having a miserable season. Reid is a cornerback and still playing. But Kaepernick, facing certain elimination by the 49ers, chose free agency. He remains one of the most talented athletes in the world, but thus far no franchise has had the courage to hire him.

From the sidelines, President Trump has cheered on discrimination against NFL players who protest, saying owners should issue directives to “get that son-of-a-bitch off the field” and fire them. Since then, multiple NFL players say they have been warned about doing any kind of demonstration during the national anthem.

Now Kaepernick has filed a legal complaint against the NFL owners for conspiring to deny him a job. Mark Geragos, one of Kaepernick’s attorneys, said in a statement: “If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) 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.”

The lawsuit and the controversy as a whole underscore the need for all professional sports teams to be owned by the communities in which they live. The billionaire owners treat these public treasures like personal toys and the players themselves like field hands. This has to stop.

On Sunday, Green Bay’s star quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sidelined for perhaps the rest of the season by an unnecessary, unconscionable, and unpenalized late hit by Minnesota Viking Anthony Barr. Rodgers was left with a broken collarbone and the Packers were left with a second-string quarterback, Brett Hundley, who led the team to a loss.

Whether or not Hundley plays well enough in ensuing games to justify staying on as a starter, the Packers need to pick up another quarterback.

The Packers must hire Colin Kaepernick. They need another quarterback. He is the best one available. As an owner, I have made my decision.

In 2012, Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, losing by a single field goal. The team has since slipped in part because it lost its superb coach Jim Harbaugh (who has remained supportive of Kaepernick). But Kaepernick’s numbers last season were strong, with 18 total touchdowns against just four interceptions. He is still an excellent passer, with running abilities rarely seen among NFL quarterbacks. At 30 years of age, he’s within his physical prime while being more seasoned and savvy than most of the league’s designated starters.

Throughout the season, I’ve been hoping the Packers would hire Kaepernick as a backup. But now this possibility has become an imperative: The Packers must hire Colin Kaepernick. They need another quarterback. He is the best one available. As an owner, I have made my decision.

The protests inspired by Kaepernick should be honored, not disparaged; they exalt our glorious First Amendment by using it to confront the disease of racism that plagues our nation. In a league in which about 70 percent of players are black, it is what we should expect.

So, as an owner, I now respectfully direct the Packers’ management to do what’s best for the franchise, and the nation.

I further ask that they notify me immediately, so I can be first among the millions to buy a new Packers’ jersey with Colin Kaepernick’s name on the back.



Harvey Wasserman’s History of the United States is at www.solartopia.org along with Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth. His California Solartopia show airs on KPFK Pacifica, and he edits www.nukefree.org.


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+43 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-10-17 15:08
Go, Harvey. I think there should be a stock holder's meeting and a vote taken on Kaepernick. He would play up close to Rogers' level. This is what the Packers need. And what a lift for all football.
 
 
+9 # kalpal 2017-10-17 21:18
Those shares are nonvoting shares for an obvious reason. The feudal lords will brook no interference from the peasantry.
 
 
+25 # revhen 2017-10-17 17:26
Amen!
 
 
+6 # slinkie@jps.net 2017-10-17 17:55
"Your honor, this highlight reel will clearly indicate Mr Kaepernick's lack of touch on short passes as well as lack of accuracy on long ones, as well as his inability or unwillingness to check down the receivers-- instead repeatedly choosing to bolt like a fleeing felon--" "Objection, your honor, counsel is profiling the plaintive." "Overruled, he looks exactly like the guy who who broke into my car last week" "Your honor..?.." "Further, your honor, the record will show that Mr. Kaepernick does not possess the bearing of leadership necessary for the starting quarterback position--being instead an introverted fellow who despite a college education speaks like an awkward teenager." "Objection, your honor, a Mr. Brett Favre once sent a dick photo to a cheerleader." "Overruled, the court has viewed photos of the cheerleader and she was smokin' hot." "Your honor!.."
 
 
+29 # greenharper 2017-10-17 18:09
Want to ask the Packers to hire Colin Kaepernick? I just did.

Here's the link to their question box: http://www.packers.com/news-and-events/insider-inbox.html
 
 
-66 # joejamchicago 2017-10-17 18:12
Colin Kaepernick is free to view the American flag as a symbol of oppression. Others are free to view the Confederate flag as a symbol of freedom. Both are wrong Mr. Kaepernick's protest accomplishes little other than perhaps inflating his sense of moral superiority. Why he is seen as heroic and as actually accomplishing something defies understanding. He has benefitted from the system he claims to criticize. He was sure, as is his right, to have cashed his paychecks and bonus checks.
 
 
+8 # davehaze 2017-10-17 20:28
Joejam

Both of my older brothers were drafted into Vietnam. One was irreparably harmed and he has always refused to stand for the national anthem. I wait for some fool to question his moral superiority . It would be a sight to see comparable to rockets red glare.

If you live near NYC I invite you to a ball game. My treat, literally my treat.

Please reply.
 
 
+9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2017-10-17 20:31
"to view the American flag"


The protest by Kaepernick and other NFL players has nothing to do with the flag. Where could you have gotten an idea like that? Oh, I know -- the mainstream media.
 
 
+10 # davehaze 2017-10-17 20:42
Joejac

Have you noticed that black folk who make a lot of money have their wealth questioned on the lines that they should be thankful to this country, implying that they should be thankful to whites?

Just one example: white reporters have asked Spike Lee shouldn't he spend his money in the black ghettos? Yeah, you always hear reporters ask George Lucas, Jamie Diamond and Zuckerberg to spend their - much greater- wealth in black ghettos
 
 
+11 # kalpal 2017-10-17 21:16
At what point did CP imply that he was demonstrating on his own behalf?
Your silly and baseless notion that he has no say in the matter of police and systemic abuse of blacks in this nation is the equivalent of demanding that his wealth and skill deny him any say in the oppression of others who look like him. You are exactly what Trump loves, a poorly educated American and a stupid Republican which is what persuaded Trump to run as he did.
 
 
+9 # Texas Aggie 2017-10-17 22:39
It's the national anthem that he takes the knee on, not the flag. To suggest that this is about the flag is to push the drumpf meme and to disparage the actual reason for the protest. It is called distraction and distortion and is an old debating trick, but not something that a person who thought he had the moral imperative would do.
 
 
+8 # Barebonesart 2017-10-17 18:30
Hallelujah! What a great idea. If I were an owner I would hire him in a minute. What the NFL has done to Colin is a crime and I would love to see the Packers hire Colin and for him to take the Packers to the Super Bowl! Wouldn't that be rich??
 
 
+10 # dotlady 2017-10-17 18:37
Why should Kaepernick's livelihood be put in danger because he calls the system on police brutality - which we have all witnessed especially since body cams. When does this society address its unfairness and violence toward black people and other minorities? Guess we have given up on the American dream of men being born equal and deserving equal treatment before the law. If that's true, the flag doesn't stand for diddlysquat any more until things change for the better.
 
 
+6 # Pluto 2017-10-17 19:06
You are so right! He would be a perfect fit. And by the way, all teams should be owned the way the Packers are. No more rich big shots. Just the people. The fans.
 
 
+10 # Thomas Martin 2017-10-17 21:36
NFL owners don't have a clue about what patriotism is - c'mon players, live up to Kaepernick's example!!! - it's your time to hold hands and win a championship for making our country what we want it to be!!!
 
 
+4 # chickelly1@gmail.com 2017-10-18 19:56
I am not watching the NFL until Kaepernick is hired by one of the Teams.
 

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