SIMMONS: It’s time for an NFL team to sign Colin Kaepernick


Roger Goodell apologized and never mentioned Colin Kaepernick.

Which is the equivalent of the NFL commissioner saying, “I’m sorry but not really sorry. “”

Because he can’t talk about Kaepernick. Legally, it doesn’t make sense.

What Goodell should have said is that he was sorry he did not understand or respond appropriately to Kaepernick’s protest against police violence in America, and that in non-legal circumstances – like, I’ll tell you continue – he should have urged teams in his league to sign the quarterback.

Goodell and so many others – the most recent being Drew Brees – extended the Kaepernick national anthem protest to something that was not. The American flag has never been discussed. It was never the US military. It was not anti-American. It was about racism and the way the police in America treated black men and women yesterday and today.

And the Kaepernick knee seems more important today, in the wake of the unnecessary murder of George Floyd.

In his 90-second statement, Goodell said he will reach out to players who have “raised their voices” and “will encourage everyone to speak out and protest peacefully.” “It came from a league that did not allow players to write messages, political or otherwise, on the equipment.

“Without black players, there would be no National Football League,” said Goodell. “And the protests across the country are emblematic of centuries of silence, inequality and oppression by black players, coaches, fans and staff.”

The kind of silence and oppression that Kaepernick was kneeling down.

The owners of Goodell and the NFL, and much of American society, turned away from Kaepernick, distorting his thoughts, misunderstanding his protest, and he lost his football career because of it. He took a knee. Goodell now apologizes to everyone except the quarterback who has to apologize to.


There have been so many poignant comments from professional athletes in the past 10 days that sport should be applauded for the small role it has played – and should continue to play – in the ongoing protest against racism and brutality. policewoman. And while all the words, statements and opinions are wonderful to see and read on social media, I’m not sure what they can accomplish in the end. I am not black and I cannot pretend to know what it is to be targeted or hated strictly for the color of my skin. But I’m more angry right now than ever before. And I don’t know when it will end. We cannot solve police brutality with words and statements and posts on Twitter. This may bring us closer, but it is only the beginning. Since Floyd’s murder, we’ve seen other disgusting incidents. We have seen other problems. The police must resolve this problem. The police must change. Civic leaders must solve this problem. Mayors must solve this problem. The police must do better themselves. If it doesn’t change, very little will. And that also makes me angry… It was time to rank Patrick Kane and Tyler Seguin on the list of enormously talented but troubled problem hockey players. But not anymore. Hear them this week, read them this week: Boy, have they grown up… Simple advice for everyone: Carry your cell phone. Take it everywhere. If you see something wrong, save it. If you think something is wrong, record it. Without the horrific video of Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, there are no protests in the world. The Black Lives Matter campaign would be silent. In this new world, we are all journalists now. We saw the strangling Floyd, the door of a police car smashing a man in Nunavut, the Quebec man pulled from his car by his dreadlocks. It was all disturbing. Without cameras, these stories rarely make the news. Keep recording, all of us. Until there is nothing left to record … It happened the other day in North Carolina. A retired professional hockey player, an African American, was playing golf and, in his cart, had to cross a street to get to the next hole. While waiting in his cart, a car drove by and a man shouted a racist comment at the golfer, who was stunned to hear such words given the current climate.


It’s not yet official, but it looks like Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver have become hub cities for the next NHL games. A city is almost certainly Las Vegas. The other can go down to Chicago or Los Angeles. And I am told that there will be no media, including game advertisers, on site … Strange thing: the players of the Maple Leafs will begin to present themselves Monday at their Etobicoke training center to start skate. Monday is June 8. Chances are they won’t play for about eight weeks. This is like asking your team to show up for camp in August to start a season in October … Dear NHL: The National Basketball Association season will resume on July 31 and end on October 12, if it ends up playing. The NBA draw is August 25. The draw is October 15. The NHL dates are: We don’t know, we don’t know and we don’t know. But I’m told you can bet on this: Gary Bettman will insist that the NHL starts before the NBA … What I don’t understand or what I agree with: the NBA kept 22 teams to end the season and start the playoffs with 16 Nine come together in one conference. Thirteen are in the other. And there will be eight regular season games before the playoffs begin. Too many unimportant games. Play a few games and start the playoffs. The six teams chasing the peloton don’t need to be included … An interesting aspect of the NHL playoff plans is reseeding after each round. In other words, if the Maple Leafs defeated Columbus in the first round and there was some sort of upheaval in one of the other three Eastern playoffs, the Leafs would get a better opponent in the second tower. It may be the first time in history that Leafs fans have cheered on the Canadians in their playoff series against Pittsburgh.


Perhaps, without doing anything, we will be more concerned with Wednesday’s baseball draft, the Blue Jays having the fifth choice, their highest selection in 23 years. If they are targeting a pitcher with the first choice, the likely choice will be Max Meyer of Minnesota or Emerson Hancock of Georgia. That’s what the multitude of fake drafts seems to indicate … It barely made the headlines when the Arizona Diamondbacks released minor leaguers Dalton Pompey and Travis Snider the other day. You have to wonder, at 27, still young, if it is for the Canadian Pompey in prospect of a big league … The last conversation I had with Pompey: I asked him about the minor leaguer Ryan Merritt, who was to stand up against the Blue Jays in game 5 of the American League Championship Series 2016. “He has nothing,” Pompey told me. He said the Jays would eat it. The next day, Merritt and the Indians whitewashed the Jays and eliminated them from the playoffs… Still unsigned, without insurance for a baseball season: Aaron Sanchez, Yasiel Puig and Ben Zobrist… James Dolan takes enormous heat for his property of the New York Knicks and it should. But you rarely hear him mentioned as the owner of the New York Rangers, who are part of one of the smartest, fastest and most upscale high-end reconstruction teams in hockey… A promise to me , which doesn’t come naturally: say less, listen more in the future. This is the plan.


Within days, Brees went from embarrassment to a quarterback semi-hero. In America, excuses certainly go a long way … Sunday is Milan Lucic’s birthday. Does that make him the oldest 32 year old on the planet? … This NHL season is in danger. We don’t know how it will work next season. This means that when winter 2022 arrives, you can be sure that there will be no NHL participation in the Winter Olympics in China. Which means you probably won’t see Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty, Patrice Bergeron, Alex Ovechkin at the Olympics. And, boy, I wish it weren’t true… With the Miami Heat now winning its NBA division, that means an additional $ 400,000 for Toronto’s Kelly Olynyk, who won the Southeast Division as a bonus in his contract … Yes, there is racism in Canada, but I have had many conversations over the years with African Americans from the Canadian Football League who ended up making Canada their home after their retirement because they found the culture so welcoming… Born on this date: Bert Sugar, Thurman Munson, Dean Martin and Prince. And happy birthday to Christian McCaffrey (24), Allen Iverson (45), Mike Modano (50), Mick Foley (55), Rueben Mayes (57), Ed Giacomin (81), Willi Plett (65), DeAndre Hopkins (28 ) and Cam Neely (55)… And hey, what happened to Alex Rios?

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The list of hockey players Rogers Sportsnet has dropped since becoming Canada’s national NHL network is long and troubling. Among those who were deported: Don Cherry, George Stroumboulopoulos, Nick Kypreos, Glenn Healy, Scott Morrison, Doug MacLean, John Shannon, Daren Millard, Brad May, Neil Smith, Leah Hextall and I’m probably missing a few. And it’s just the people on the air.

The network has always been looking for the recipe to play hockey well – and along the way, it went off everywhere.

But Sportsnet took a huge step Friday with the hiring of Chris Cuthbert, who left TSN after 15 years of calling hockey and CFL games for the network. For my money, Cuthbert is the best play-by-game man in Canada, whether in hockey or football. He hated leaving TSN, hated leaving his CFL and Gray Cup jobs, but wanted to do something he had never done before: broadcast a Stanley Cup final. It was on his bucket list.

And he was promised at least one final in his four-year contract. Not four Stanley Cup finals. At least one, maybe more.

And now, for Cuthbert, who had to earn a lot of money to change networks? Does he become the voice of Hockey night in Canada, before Jim Hughson’s long-standing staple?

Or do they become co-no. 1 voice? For me, this should not be a situation 1 and 1a. It should be Cuthbert one and Hughson two on my list.

It might make economic and dissemination sense for Cuthbert to become the eastern voice of Hockey night in Canada and have Hughson as their western voice. But that doesn’t seem to be the plan right now.

And guess what? Sportsnet doesn’t exactly ask me for my opinion.

Max Kellerman was one of the sound and intuitive voices broadcasting boxing for HBO. He was measured by what he said, precise and professional, and you almost always learn something from his words.

Now Kellerman is working on an ESPN show called First take, the key word being take. He works across from Stephen A. Smith, who shouts and shouts and shouts on basketball as well as anyone can shout basketball. And Kellerman, by character, had to learn to shout.

This is the show.

So when Kellerman says “nobody cares about hockey – it’s not one of the big four team sports,” – he inspires the passionate hockey community and plays with its audience.

But there was truth in his words. I spend about two months a year in Florida now. I watch a lot of First take and ESPN. If you look at the network, you honestly wouldn’t know that the NHL exists. If you look First take, unless there is a Zamboni driver in goal for the Carolina, you will not hear about hockey.

But in all of his theaters, Kellerman was wrong to say that the NHL is not part of the Big Four. It’s number 4. But it’s not wrong to say “nobody cares about hockey” in America. The impressive online sports service, The Athletic, released a disproportionate number of 46 hockey writers across Canada and the United States on Friday. One of them covered the Florida Panthers, which are rarely covered by newspapers in South Florida. Why? Because few demand it in this part of the country.

Hockey in America struggles in many markets for coverage and attention. He is No. 4 among major league sports. It’s always been number 4. But if you include NCAA football and basketball in the major leagues, it’s probably number 6. That’s where Kellerman was right, even if he did. misspoke.


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