We’re coming up on the third week in the NFL regular season and there are more examples of corruption facing the league than ever.

During Monday Night Football on Sep. 17, the Chicago Bears faced the Seattle Seahawk. Although the Bears came out on top with a 24-17 victory, that wasn’t what caught the attention of most fans. The spotlight was on linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who was starting on the Seahawks defense. The same man that plead guilty to insider trading just 11 days ago and now faces up to 25 years in prison. Although the football player was previously suspended for his offense, the NFL allowed him to appeal the decision, and now Kendricks plans to play with Seattle as long as he can before his federal sentencing in January. Viewers were struck with disbelief at how easily the NFL was willing to overlook his scandal and allow him to play.

Meanwhile, in another act of infraction, the New England Patriots signed a new wide receiver that had been in their sights for a while. Josh Gordon, nicknamed the “Flash”, is a WR originally from the Cleveland Browns. While his skills were something to be admired, his history of substance abuse was a major fault. During his career with the Browns, Gordon acknowledged his problem. “I would drink probably like half a glass, or a couple shots to try and warm my system up,” he said. “To get the motor running. That’s what I would do for games.” Additionally, he was suspended for the entire 2015 season due to alcohol violations and has since had a bumpy ride with drug abuse. All of this history seemed to fly over the heads of NFL officials and fans when the Patriots signed a contract with him just yesterday.

If the NFL is willing to let blatant criminals play in the NFL, when will someone sign Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t committed any crimes?

It’s no secret that NFL teams are simply afraid to sign Kaepernick, who’s been a free agent since he started peacefully protesting social injustice, especially for the African Americans involved with police brutality. His protests, staged by calmly kneeling during the National Anthem, were taken offensively by the mainly white, conservative owners of the NFL teams. Because of their contempt for him and their unwillingness to see reason in the area of social change, Kaepernick, a hero in the eyes of many, is labeled “unpatriotic”, and has remained a free agent for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The obvious problem here is that the NFL is willing to openly accept criminals into their league when there are social activists like Kaepernick, and athletes from all around the nation, who are facing criticism for using their voice. I dare say that this is an issue in multiple occupations; there’s an undertone of insincerity when it comes to who will get hired and who won’t, especially when it comes to their moral beliefs. It’s utterly discriminatory and the NFL ought to reevaluate how they decide who plays and who doesn’t.

Photo by ESPN

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