Outlaw's Outtakes

2-18-19 - Michael Zagaris
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was brought before the American public by Time magazine on October 3, 2016. Photo by Michael Zagaris.

David slays Goliath
by Outlaw

In the end, there was no slingshot.

The last time before Friday that Colin Kaepernick was on the front page of the New York Times was when he and other players were being called out by a famous draft dodger for disrespecting the military. What the 49er quarterback was actually doing was peacefully drawing attention to an issue that the president and his conga line of inept yes-men and thieves have conveniently ignored, or even worse--misrepresented and stained--with their broad brush of bigotry. Friday, the truth got a measure of justice.

The owners' toadying up to the president has been the very definition of obsequious; " obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree."

In May 2018, owners ruled that players can no longer kneel during the national anthem without leaving themselves open to punishment. If a player is not standing for the national anthem, Donald Trump said, "Maybe you shouldn't be in the country."

Then in August of last year, arbitrator Stephen Burbank said lawyers for Kaepernick had unearthed enough information for his collusion case to proceed to a full hearing. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Bob Kraft, Texans owner Bob McNair and Broncos general manager John Elway were all deposed. What else did the lawyers find during the discovery process, I wonder?

Where is your indignation, Mr. President, now that your NFL buddies have actually lost one? I notice you have been strangely silent in the wake of this stunning development, namely a rebuke in the form of a reported $150 million combined settlement awarded Kaepernick and his partner in protest, Eric Reid. Colin got over on the billionaire boys' club, the 1950s frat house where wannabe jocks who become titans of industry stay warm and dry in their sky boxes, where the only hazing is the abuse of the pledges, those who dare to speak truth to power.

Concussions, CTE, steroids; these things will not go away. Most egregiously, since 2005 there have been 44 NFL players who have been accused of sexual or physical assault. The problem persists, and the predictable reaction is, once again, pathetic. The latest indignity, the signing of caught-on-video-assaulter Kareem Hunt, confirms the league's priorities. Meanwhile, in the case of Kaepernick and Reid--who was targeted for an unusually high number of random drug tests this season as retaliation for the lawsuit--the system has spoken. The league will have to pay for its collusion. (You like that word, don't you, Mr. President.)

The NFL takes in $8 billion annually. This settlement represents nearly two per cent of that, a drop in the bucket, a small price to pay to stay out of the headlines. It is the cost of doing business-- let's cut our losses . That money will not stay in the pockets of Kaepernick and Reid; most likely a large chunk will be steered towards social and political causes that actually help people, thanks to a courageous, adopted, biracial athlete from Turlock, CA who exposed the host of hypocrites. He stood down the NFL bullies while standing up for a cause he believed in. And like the biblical David, it is a lesson of cunning, courage and faith.

Somewhere Al Davis is smiling. Say what you will about Mr. Davis, but he had a lot more game than this current group of owners put together. He was responsible for the merger of the AFL and the NFL, which gave the league the ability to virtually print money. He hired the first black coach, the first Latino quarterback and head coach and the first female executive. Perhaps his son, before he jets off to disaster-ville in Sin City, will do the right thing. Maybe you can sign Colin, Mark, and make your old man proud.

Sometimes, the good guys win. It should give all of us hope.

Oakland, February 18, 2019

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From 2000-2005 I wrote a column for the late great Oakland Athletics Fan Coalition (OAFC) entitled  Elman Swings,
a play on the fact that I'm a musician. Some of you may remember the OAFC, an East Bay organization that at its peak had several thousand members devoted to keeping the A's in Oakland and guess what? They've succeeded. Perhaps one or two of you might remember my articles (more like rants) about baseball and society. So when the Ultimate Sports Guide asked me to compose regular screeds for this weekly blast called Outlaw's Outtakes, how could I say "No?" ('Outlaw' is their nickname for me.) -- Pete Elman

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit https://www.bzecheers.com/rumpopo

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label