Sunday, September 25, 2016

Colin Kaepernick: How Is He The Most Disliked Player In The NFL?

By Pat Luhta, @PLuhta

I got a message from ESPN the other day that said a recent poll showed the 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick is the most disliked player in the NFL. The sample was rather small, only 1,100 people were asked, but 29% of those involved with the research said Kaepernick's name when asked who their most disliked player. That's 319 of 1,100, practically 1 in every 3 people have him as the most disliked and it was a landslide as well with Jameis Winston coming in a #2 at 22% (242 people disliked him the most).

I'm not here to tell anyone to not hate Colin Kaepernick, that discussion is for another time. I'm aware of the reason why he is hated, some look at the American flag as a sign of freedom and patriotism and not standing for it is a sign of disrespect to veterans that provide such freedoms. Others think that he's just being a spoiled brat and that kind of attitude is a turn off so they hate him for acting that way, and some definitely feel that his protest is wrong because they do not believe that the social injustices of which his protest is based off of is valid and he's just taking a stand for the wrong reason. Whichever reason it may be, I get that he is disliked...but the most disliked of all the players in the NFL? Really?

There's a thing known as being a "prisoner of the moment", meaning your current emotions are falsely dictating your thoughts of the entire landscape. For instance, a player makes an incredible catch and automatically it's "the greatest catch in the history of the sport!!!", when really it's just the most fresh in your mind and once you stop and think about it then it becomes "ok so there were others that were better but this one was pretty good." That's happening here, Colin Kaepernick is freshly talked about on the news so he's obviously the most disliked player around, people spend a lot of time hating him and don't take a second to think about the other things that current NFL players have been involved in.

There's also the uniformed situation, where Kaepernick is the most disliked based on not knowing all of the other players in the league and what they've done. Going back to the greatest catch example, someone else will counter and say "greatest catch ever? What about (name's player and game) catch?" which is followed by "oh...I don't remember seeing that one." People pick what their most liked or disliked people, things, places etc. based on what they know, can't really fault them but at the same time there shouldn't be an absolute to their answer then.

So whether you are a prisoner of the moment and need some thing re-hashed to get your memory going again or just unaware of other player in the NFL, here's a few examples to show that Colin Kaepernick being the most disliked player is absolutely ridiculous.

The first being Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. I find it hard to believe that the majority of people voting on this would not know who he is because well, he's really good and at a position that gets a lot of the spotlight. He is one of the top QB's in the NFL, is breaking all kinds of Steelers' records and has won the Super Bowl twice. Do you know what else he's been involved in twice? Sexual assault.The first time coming in 2009, where Roethlisberger was at a suite in Lake Tahoe, lured a hotel attendant to his room, blocked her from leaving and assaulted her to the point that she needed to go to the hospital. Due to a lack of evidence and a "he said, she said" back and forth, the case was settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Then just a year later, Roethlisberger was again accused of sexual assault, this time in a nightclub's bathroom and the victim being a college student. She also needed to go to the hospital after Roethlisberger followed her into a bathroom and raped her in a stall. Due to a lack of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Roethlisberger escaped jail time and was not charged, slipping away on technicalities. The NFL was not amused at his antics though and suspended him for 6 games that season along with placing him in a mandatory behavior evaluation class where he underwent therapy for his problems with keeping his hands off of women.

There's another guy in the NFL that you should know about, his name is Sheldon Richardson. He is a defensive lineman for the NY Jets, and he had a rather forgettable offseason in 2015. Coming off a Pro Bowl season, Richardson's offseason started by being suspended 4 games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Then his got a bit worse for him as 2 weeks later he was arrested after street racing at excess of 140 MPH, taking the cops on a chase through the streets of St. Louis and after he surrendered, the police found a loaded handgun(later proved to be legal), marijuana smell on him and one of the passengers in his car was a 12 year old kid.  Let's rewind it back just so I can go through the timeline of events...Sheldon Richardson got high, started driving with a 12 year old in the car, decided to street race at 140 MPH, and tried to alluded police by driving recklessly through residential streets. There are times that people use bad judgment and mistakes are made, but I find this kind of bad judgment to be far past just chalking it up as a mistake. This was a reckless decision that Richardson was lucky to just get away with just a large fine and 2 years probation since they decided not to charge him with child endangerment.

Then I'd like to bring up a guy by the name of Josh Brown. Kickers are usually not remembered unless they are kicking game winning field goals in the Super Bowl (Adam Vinatieri), or missing field goals to lose the Super Bowl (Scott Norwood), so I wouldn't be shocked if Josh Brown's name isn't recognized by many people. Aside from having a lengthy career in the NFL, Josh Brown has also had a lengthy issue of domestic violence. Back in 2015, Brown was arrested on domestic violence charges after his wife(now ex-wife) went to the police with claims that she felt threatened by him and as she went to call, he grabbed her wrist and an assault occurred. So that was one incident, but details have emerged lately about his past with her and they aren't pretty at all. The disturbing reports came out that he had been physically violent with her 20 times in the past, instances ranging anywhere from holding her down and threatening to kill her to pushing her into as mirror and throwing her onto the floor. There was a time that they were arguing over the mail and he became enraged to the point where he grabbed her shoulders and pushed her into a door, this incident happened in 2009 when she was at least 4 months pregnant.

Yes you read that right...SHE WAS PREGNANT. With his child too, not that it makes any difference, but I wanted to clear that up incase anyone wanted to heinously justify his actions by wondering if she was having an affair, got pregnant and when he found out the child wasn't his then he went into a fit of rage. She was his wife and that was their kid that she was bearing and he still assaulted her. That was the first physical incident of the 20, ranging from 2009 to 2015.

My point here is that things need to be kept in perspective. Like I said, hate Colin Kaepernick for whatever reason you'd like, go ahead and think he's a prick for doing what he's doing; it's every bit your freedom to dislike him for kneeling during the National Anthem as it is his to kneel during it. But things like rape, child endangerment and serial domestic abuse should piss you off a hell of a lot more than someone protesting peacefully and silently. On average, around 40 NFL players are arrested each year ranging from unpaid fines to assaulting an elderly person, there are plenty of other players to choose from as your most hated and things you should find way more egregious than his protest. That's also why I will never understand the rationale behind this "NFL boycott" that people are trying to start up, where they refuse to watch NFL games or buy any merchandise until the NFL suspends Kaepernick and others for protesting.

Where was the boycott when Rae Carruth was hiring someone to kill his pregnant girlfriend? Where was the boycott when Ray Lewis was charged with obstruction with involvement of stabbing people? Where was the boycott when Adam "Pacman" Jones was shooting up a strip club? Where was the boycott when Aaron Hernandez was executing 2 people in a gang affiliated style? Where was the boycott when Ray Rice was knocking out his girlfriend in an elevator? So far, the only boycotts have been when Michael Vick signed a contract after serving 2 years in prison and now this? So dogs and flags are boycott worthy, but assaults and killings of people are not?

And just for the record, yes I support Colin Kaepernick. I'm not advocating that people see his side though, or my side even. That's for another time and if anyone wants to have a civil conversation on Twitter or Facebook or if you know me personally then we can have it in person, I'm fine with debating this subject overall and if you also dislike me for agreeing with Kaepernick and understanding his protest then that's your right. But when you say that he's your most hated NFL player because of it though and rank it as being worse than beating up a pregnant woman, then I'm not on board with that.

Hating Colin Kapernick isn't wrong, hating him the most is.

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