Last night, NFL wide receiver Terrelle Pryor posted something on Instagram that I think perfectly summarizes why we are boycotting the NFL.
Pryor said, and I quote “Being called a nigger several times to the point where an NFL employee had to step to me and stand by me the whole game from the 2nd quarter on is the exact reason why guys are kneeling during the anthem. I chose not to kneel because as a team we decided to be one and stand, but as I walked in the tunnel, hearing someone call me a nigger and say F you to me, me flicking the person off is more deserving.”
Pryor went on to say, “I do apologize to my teammates and the organization, but at some point, you keep calling us the N word – and we’re going to start acting up.”
On this past Monday, on primetime, on Monday Night Football, Pryor was seen angrily losing his cool as he walked into the tunnel. Someone had clearly set him off – which is peculiar for Pryor – who has a reputation for being very chill. The fan had called Pryor the N-word.
And here’s the thing – why wouldn’t the fan think that’s OK? We live in the day and age where the President of the United States gets in front of a crowd of thousands, on national television, and calls NFL players SOB’s and basically says they aren’t just what’s wrong with the NFL, but that they are what’s wrong with America.
I don’t blame Donald Trump for American racism. It was here long before him – and long before his dad was in the KKK, but by expressing more anger at NFL players than he did toward violent white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, by expressing more anger at NFL players than he did the Las Vegas shooter, who murdered 59 people and shot over 500 others – Trump has opened the door for white folk across the country to target and harass these players in the worst possible ways.
It’s disgusting. And now Pryor, who wasn’t even one of the guys taking a knee or protesting, seems to understand those who have now more than ever.
For the first time in my life, I haven’t watched an NFL game in 218 days. That was the last time Colin Kaepernick played in the league. We announced an NFL boycott right here on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and I want to give everybody a clear update on where we stand and why we feel this way.
Colin Kaepernick is widely believed to be one of the 20 best quarterbacks in the NFL, but out of 96 available positions, he hasn’t even been offered a single workout from a single team in 218 days. Even teams that desperately needed a starter, teams who desperately needed a quality backup – haven’t just denied him a spot – they’ve denied a chance to even fight for a spot. Earlier this week, after Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota went down with an injury, many thought they might give Kaep a chance. Mariota and Kaepernick have a very similar game.
Instead, the Titans signed career backup Brandon Weeden to the team. Not a single expert in the world would argue that Weeden is better than Kaepernick. He doesn’t fit the team better. But it’s deeper than that – the team worked out 4 quarterbacks and Kaepernick wasn’t even one of the four – most likely because had they worked him out it would’ve been abundantly clear that he was the best choice.
So yes, our NFL boycott continues. Don’t watch a single game. Unsubscribe from Sunday Ticket if you have it. Don’t go to the games.
And I’ll keep it real – the longer I go without watching it – the less I care to watch it. The baseball playoffs are starting. The NBA preseason just started and the regular season is about to begin. I missed the NFL a bit the first week, but after a few weeks, I hardly miss it at all.
Listen – the NFL has done a lot of wrongs. From the constant reports of brain damage and CTE to the many ways they’ve protected and empowered men who are serial abusers, to what they’ve now done to Colin Kaepernick. It’s too much.
Some of you have asked if we should continue to boycott the league now that Trump has encouraged a boycott for different reasons – and my answer is an emphatic yes. Trump is a liar. He feels one way today and another way tonight. We don’t make our decisions based on Trump’s mood. 7 team owners in the league gave over a million dollars to this man.
For me, as long as they have effectively banned Colin Kaepernick from the league, I’ll never watch them. None of us should. It’s a grave injustice. And at this point, it may even be a legal case of discrimination. If you’ve been boycotting – hold out. If you didn’t watch anyway – encourage others to boycott. And if you’re watching, consider making this past week your last. We can do this. We must do this.
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