Friday, November 30, 2018

The Sporting Life

The Bay Area professional football teams have not had a lot to shout about this season. The Forty-Niners and the Raiders are battling it out for the cellar in their perspective conferences, while injuries and poor management make it hard to bet against either one in their race to the bottom. And all of this might be easier to take if it were just football related.
You may remember the San Francisco Forty-Niners as a once proud franchise with a history of Super Bowls and superstars. Currently in search of their third win for the season, they are perhaps more easily remembered currently for their handling of one Colin Kapernick. The Niners' ex-quarterback has not played a down for them or any other professional football team since 2016, but remains a recognizable face due to Nike's pop-culture savvy ad campaign featuring him. Kaepernick is currently more recognizable as the leader of a movement than the leader of a football team. By taking a knee during the National Anthem to raise awareness for police brutality on people of color. His actions led to him being let go by the team he took to a Super Bowl in 2012. And made him a Twitter-target for the "President." And led to all manner of knee-related sports protests, including a Forty-Niners cheerleader who took a knee at the beginning of two games this season.
This being the Left Coast, and a perennial hotbed of social activism, you might expect that this kind of forward thinking would be reflected if not rewarded by the team. You might believe that cutting linebacker Reuben Foster after he was arrested for domestic violence while on a road trip to Tampa Bay is an example of such forward thinking. Except that Mister Foster had been arrested just last spring on the same charge. With the same woman. This is a guy who failed a drug test before he was drafted into the NFL. He served a two game suspension last year for marijuana possession and a gun charge. Last year when both of those things were still illegal.
Two arrests for domestic violence. One suspension for gun and drug charges. Reuben Foster was let go by the San Francisco Forty-Niners. Colin Kaepernick, who has not been arrested for anything is still looking for a job. That's the sporting life.

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