NFL is an abbreviation for the National Football League. With the numerous occurrences that have taken place in recent history, perhaps the league office should rethink what those initials stand for.

How about “Never Follow the Law”?  Or “National Felons League”?

This… after Antonio Bryant being released after only 11 days with the New England Patriots, after allegations of sexual assault became public.

According to nfl.com, the receiver was accused by a former trainer, Britney Taylor, of rape and sexual assault in a civil lawsuit filed on Sept. 10. The league is currently investigating the allegations. Taylor spoke with league investigators on Monday.

On Thursday night, more allegations were levied against Brown. A female artist, who was hired to paint a mural in Brown’s Pittsburgh home in 2017, came forward to Sports Illustrated earlier in the week with accusations regarding the wide receiver making past unwanted advances toward her.

In text messages presented to S.I. on Thursday evening, Brown questioned the accuser’s allegations and encouraged those in the group text chain to investigate her.

The NFL is also investigating those allegations and the text messages sent by Brown, the league confirmed Friday evening.

“Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation,” an NFL spokesman said in a statement. “We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues.”

Here is the timeline of events around Brown this season.

September 7: Brown sent a tweet asking to be released from the Raiders. The team issued him his release.

September 9: Signs 1-year deal with the Patriots.

September 10: Brown accused of sexual assault.

September 16: Sports Illustrated issues a report alleging a second accusation of sexual misconduct.

September 20: Patriots cut Brown in the wake of sexual assault accusations.

With the allegations against Brown, we are reminded of other players that have wandered the sidelines of Foxboro Stadium while criminal charges were coming or had already been convicted of crimes.  

Obviously, we start with Aaron Hernandez, who murdered Odin Lloyd while a member of the team. He was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. The team stood by him through all the allegations and investigations, not cutting him until after he was arrested.

Team owner Robert Kraft even testified at his trial as to why he believed Hernandez to be innocent. Hernandez was found hanging in his cell in 2017. Up until his death, he maintained his innocence and planned to return to the NFL.

Is there any doubt that had Hernandez been released for anything other than complete exoneration, he would have landed on a team somewhere?

While Hernandez is the most famous of Patriot lawbreakers to date, he isn’t the only one. On the morning of March 14, 2009, Donte Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian while driving his car.

In a police investigation, Stallworth admitted to drinking the night before the accident. News sources reported that his blood alcohol content was 0.12, over the legal limit of 0.08.

He entered a plea bargain and was convicted of DUI manslaughter. The NFL suspended him without pay for the entirety of the 2009 season without pay. He was reinstated the next season and wound up playing for the Patriots in 2012. In the Patriots defense, they were not the only team to sign Stallworth after the conviction. He also played for the Ravens and Redskins.

While Michael Vick never played for the Patriots, Michael Vick received a 3-year sentence after being convicted of dogfighting. He wound up only serving 9 months and was released for good behavior. Vick returned to the NFL, playing for 7 more seasons and appearing in 69 games during that time.

Rae Carruth was convicted in 2001 for conspiracy to commit murder, using an instrument with intent to destroy an unborn child and discharging a firearm into occupied property in the shooting near Carruth’s Charlotte home on Nov. 16, 1999, that led to the death of Cherica Adams.

Chancellor Lee Adams, Carruth’s son whom the hitman testified Carruth wanted dead so he wouldn’t have to pay child support, was born premature and suffers from cerebral palsy. 

Carruth was in his third year with the Carolina Panthers.

I could share countless more examples, but I believe the above paints an accurate picture. The only things that keep you from playing in the league are retirement, lack of ability and lengthy incarceration and death.

NFL could also stand for Not For Law enforcement or the No Flag League, what with all the kneeling and anti-police sentiment that is allowed to be displayed.

And that leads us to none other than Colin Kaepernick, whose disdain and animosity for law enforcement has been well-chronicled here at LET.

Whether it was his cops are pigs socks, or his “cosmetologists have more training than cops” narrative, or his donations to cop-killer families, his hatred for the men and women who comprise the blue line is well documented.

When asked if he was concerned his speaking out against the actions of some police officers could be seen as an indictment on all of law enforcement, Kaepernick did not back down.

“There is police brutality,” Kaepernick said. “People of color have been targeted by police. So that’s a large part of it and they’re government officials. They are put in place by the government. So that’s something that this country has to change.”

And in his effort to call cops stupid:

“There are things we can do to hold them more accountable. Make those standards higher. You have people that practice law and are lawyers and go to school for eight years, but you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.”

And who is to blame for all of this? Is it the league itself? Should the players shoulder the responsibility? Maybe it is the owners. The NFLPA is definitely in the mix.

While we operate on the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven and we will wait to see where the allegations against Brown go, I applaud the Patriots for cutting ties with the troubled receiver.   

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We figured it was a good time for a throw back, speaking of the NFL…

It’s been just over a year since our incredible friend Sherry Graham-Potter wrote an open letter to Nike after they released their latest marketing campaign in cahoots with Colin Kaepernick. 

A campaign that spit in the face of every member of the Blue Family around the country.

kaepernick_nike

“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

 

Well guess what, Nike? We don’t forget. 

Just over a year after Nike turned their backs on police across the country, we wanted to remind America about Sherry’s important message.

Check it out.

Dear Nike,

I want to have a conversation about this hat. It’s over 13 years old. I don’t remember when I bought it exactly, I don’t remember where I bought it. But what I do remember is why I wore it.

On August 10, 2005, I was a newlywed with two young sons. My husband Tim and I had toasted our one month anniversary the night before, and I was enjoying a rare evening to myself, catching up on reading and relishing the quiet. Until there was a knock on my door. I had no way of knowing that the small act of turning a knob was about to shatter my life into a million pieces.

I sat numb and in sheer disbelief as I was told that my husband, while in a foot pursuit and subsequent struggle with a suspect that ended up in the road, had been struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. He took his last breath lying in the middle of the street.

What I lost in that moment is indescribable. I had to watch his mother be dealt the most agonizing blow a parent can face, and I couldn’t comfort her because I was in my own hell. I had to find a way to gut my own children in the gentlest way possible, and tell them that this man they had come to love, who they looked up to, who cared for them as his own, would never walk through our door again.

(Courtesy Sherry Graham-Potter)

 

I don’t know if you’ve ever attended a police funeral, but watching grown men who’ve seen the absolute worst things a civilian can imagine, break down and sob over the casket of their brother is an image that never leaves you. The bagpipes haunt my dreams to this day, but it was the faces of my children, the innocence that abandoned them at such a tender age that brought me to my knees.

I had no choice but to move on. We trudged zombie-like through our days for weeks and weeks on end. I never left the house except to drive the boys to school, or buy food we barely touched. I realized that I had to do something. I had to move my body or I was going to crawl out of my own skin.

So I put on the only cap I had and I went for a run. It was short, it hurt and it was ugly.

But I felt, just for those few moments on that road, like a normal person. So I kept doing it. I put that hat on and I ran every day.

Sometimes I had to stop and sit down because I was sobbing so hard. Sometimes I was so angry I ran until I thought I my heart would stop, sometimes I would just scream over and over again, but it still felt better than doing nothing.

(Photo form Sherry Graham - Potter.)

(Photo form Sherry Graham – Potter)

 

That black cap became a symbol to me, it is sweat stained and it’s shape is gone, the buckle in the back barely closes; but that hat represents my family’s rise from the ashes. It stands for the strength and the sacrifice we made loving a man who had a job that we all knew could end his life, every time he walked out that door. And it did. And I accept that.

I still wear this hat, I wore it on my run this morning.

And then I heard about your new ad campaign.

Colin Kapernick has the absolute right to protest anything he damn well pleases. I don’t dispute that for one second. My father, my husband and many, many friends have all served this country and were willing to fight for his right to kneel.

But that right goes both ways.

I also have a right to express my disgust at your decision to portray him as some kind of hero. What, exactly has Colin Kapernick sacrificed? His multi-million dollar paycheck…? Nope, you already gave him one of those.

His reputation? No, he’s been fawned over by celebrities and media alike. Funny, Tim Tebow was never called courageous when he knelt.

(Photo from Sherry Graham - Potter.)

(Photo from Sherry Graham – Potter.)

This man, whose contempt for law enforcement fits him like a…sock, has promoted an agenda that has been proven false time and time again, in study after study. But facts don’t seem to matter anymore. This man has thrown his support behind divisive anti-police groups, and donated money directly to a fugitive from justice who escaped prison after killing a police officer. I question the judgement of anyone who would put someone this controversial and divisive at the head of an advertising campaign, but it isn’t my company to run.

I don’t know if I’ll have the heart to ever get rid of this cap, but I will tell you this, I’ll never purchase another Nike product as long as I live. You got this one wrong Nike, terribly, terribly wrong.

Sherry Graham-Potter, surviving spouse of Deputy Tim Graham

Sherry sat down with Kyle Reyes during the Chicago Concerns of Police Survivors conference to tell her story on a tear-jerking episode of Behind the Uniforms.

You can watch her interview below.

Behind the Uniforms – Sherry: Nike Got it Wrong

This police widow had an important message for Nike when they released their latest advertising campaign. Help us support this incredible member of our community!

Posted by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

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