The NFL having its players and coaches wear camouflage and pink once a year has much more to do with a marketing dude in its New York City office thinking it looks “cool” on TV than it does the world’s most profitable sports league giving one damn about our troops and breast cancer.
Bill Belichick knows this. After all, he’s not only the smartest coach in pro football, he also has one of the top bull bleep detectors in the history of the world. Belichick surely ruffled some feathers in the league offices and with the “only-when-it’s-convenient Patriotic crowd when he completely ignored the NFL’s strong suggestion that head coaches should wear camo gear on the sidelines in honor of Veteran’s Day and their “Salute To Service” campaign.
Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with these coaches and players adhering to the NFL’s wishes. If you want to honor someone by wearing a certain style of fabric, go ahead. But this “awareness” word that everyone trots out regarding these things should be more closely analyzed. For instance, are you aware that Business Insider reported that only 8.01 percent of the money raised in the NFL’s Pink October campaign actually goes to breast cancer research? Are you aware that Vice went so far as to report that NONE of the proceeds actually go towards research? Are you aware that NJ.com reported that the Department of Defense actually pays money TO THE NFL so that the league can hold military tributes at games? Are you aware that the NFL donated a measly $2 million to its three charitable “Salute To Service” partners last year when it is estimated that they’ll soon be raking in $23 BILLION in annual revenue?
It’s true that the NFL doesn’t have to donate a single penny toward any cause, and if it gave to every cause out there, even it would go bankrupt. But what is sickening is the victory lap the league takes when it does something, anything that’s deemed “charitable.” You really want to make a difference in cancer research? Fork over the entire earnings of just one NFL Sunday for cancer research. Forget the pink colors. Just sign a check. Paint a replica of that check on the 50-yard line of every stadium in the league for the rest of the season for all I care.
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Belichick, who grew up in and around the U.S. Naval Academy, is often vilified because he’s the quiet type. If he donated a crap ton of his paycheck to the military, we’d never hear about it. He’s much like most of our troops who come back from war. Humble.
Most every World War II and Vietnam vet I have ever talked to didn’t want to talk about their service. Probably because war sucks.
These veterans deserve our respect and they deserve jobs when they get home. Yeah, the $2 million is OK. The free dinner at Denny’s each November is nice. But spare us the charade, NFL. Tweeting out #GodBlessOurTroops, trotting out head coaches who like G.I. Joe and acting as though Roger Goodell is Yankee-friggin-Doodle-Dandy doesn’t solve any real issue.
Belichick knows this, because he’s realist and he’s a rebel.
A true Patriot, I guess.