Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sign the Best Available Players (Regardless of Politics)

Today has been a real roller coaster ride for Dolphins fans. Ryan Tannehill went down with a knee injury at practice this morning and Dolphins fans spent all day glued to the internet, praying for the best. While they waited to hear his fate (Which turned out to be very encouraging), a discussion arose about who the Dolphins should sign if Tannehill's injury proved to be severe, and a few names came up including retired double-chin Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick.

I want to say right off the bat that this article is taking no stance on Colin Kaepernick's political leanings or statements. I assume you care as much about my politics as I do about yours, which is not at all. On paper, Kaepernick's numbers from last season look pretty impressive, but any arguments people want to make about his football skills, or his effect on a locker room are all fair game to me. What I have no patience for are arguments about his politics. Articles including this one have stated that the Dolphins cannot or should not sign him at least in part because of his politics, which is utterly ridiculous.

I totally get that Kaepernick's political statements, particularly some of his stances on Cuba and Fidel Castro rubbed a lot of South Floridians the wrong way. Many of you passionately disagree with him as you have every right to, but you may be surprised to know the Dolphins already have a number of players with beliefs that may differ from your own. In addition to the Dolphins players who kneeled during the national anthem last season, we also now have William Hayes, a player who publicly denies the existence of dinosaurs and believes in mermaids.

Does this bother you? Do you want these players cut immediately? How about crimes?  Have you loudly demanded every Dolphin get cut the moment they're arrested for domestic violence or other crimes over the years? If not, why not?

What I hate more than anything in the world is the repulsive sound of the deadbeat dads that make up the New York Jets fanbase cheering when they beat our team. I hate Tom Brady's smug grin when he torches us for another win. If there's a player out there who has the skill to prevent that who you wouldn't sign simply because of their political beliefs, you can go fuck yourself. We have nothing in common. For me, there are literally no exceptions to this. If I found out white supremacist Richard Spencer had an amazing arm, I'd sign him today.

In a perfect world, we could all cheer for a team of talented Pro Bowlers that are all perfect pillars of the community and in total lockstep with all of our beliefs. The real world often offers more complex choices. While some players might fit that description for you, like Jason Taylor or Zach Thomas, we also live in the world of Richie Incognito. Aside from the tapes that came out during the overblown "Bullygate" bullshit a few years ago, I've heard very few people describe him as anything other than an asshole. I would not want to hang out with him under any circumstances, but I was still furious when we cut him because he was pretty good at football. While our guards have at times been like  turnstiles the last few seasons, Incognito went to 2 consecutive Pro Bowls.

If you either wouldn't sign the best player available simply because of politics, or you're one of the pussies who stopped watching football last season simply because players were making a political statement you disagreed with, you need to accept that you're the easily triggered snowflake in need of a safe space.

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