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Boycott NFL for blackballing Kaepernick

POSTED: September 26, 2017 6:00 p.m.
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Bob Franken is an Emmy award winning broadcast journalist.

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I did it! I made it through Sunday without watching an NFL game!

Perhaps I didn’t mention it, but I’ve decided to boycott the National Football League.

It’s not an easy decision for me. I played football. Come to think of it, that might explain my mental acuity (or lack thereof). But I’ve had a lifetime attachment to the game. Until now.

At least I won’t be watching the pros play on TV, and certainly not in person. That’s become way too expensive.

The reason for my shunning the NFL can be explained in two words. You can probably guess them. No, not those two words.

I’m talking about Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who isn’t — isn’t on any pro squad in spite of the fact that he is way more qualified than many of the others who’ve at least hung on as backups.

Kaepernick created quite an uproar last year when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. He chose not to stand during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

He explained that it was his way of expressing opposition to the sometimes deadly police brutality on so many occasions aimed at minorities and the mistreatment in general of the poor and people of color. And in spite of crushing pressure to abandon his protest, he refused. He continued to sit out and, finally, kneel out during the national anthem.

At the end of last year, Kaepernick decided to become a free agent, to leave the 49ers and to try to sign a more lucrative contract with another team.

But guess what?

No other organization would have anything to do with him. In spite of his obvious talents and record, including a Super Bowl win as the starting quarterback, Kaepernick was not hired by any franchise, even those who developed a dire need for quarterback help.

It’s obvious that his protest is the reason; equally obvious that he’s been blackballed. Some of the team owners — a conservative bunch of rich guys — simply are bugged by his action or by his violation of the make-no-waves mandate.

Others are more concerned that the controversy would antagonize fans, so their stifling of the free expression that is so fundamental in the USA was a financial decision — an un-American one, but strictly about profits.

So the NFL is without Kaepernick, and it’ll be without Franken.

As much as I love the game, this isn’t a big decision. I’ve already chosen not to go to any games of the

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