It was Giants co-owner John Mara who inadvertently legitimized the business-related reasons for shunning Colin Kaepernick earlier this year. Now, Mara and his partner, Steve Tisch, have no come out with a strong statement condemning President Trump’s verbal assault on players who choose not to stand for the national anthem.
Will other owners follow suit? With each passing hour, silence will become more conspicuous. Come Sunday and Monday, when 30 teams play and their owners attend games, questions inevitably will be posed by reporters. The better move may be to say something now, which then will allow the owners to simply refer to their statement.
It remains a proposition fraught with risk for every owner. The President has supporters, and many of them agree with what he said. Are owners willing to incur the wrath of fans who will threaten not to show up for games, and possibly act on it?
“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue,” Mara said regarding the anthem protests in May. “If any of your players ever do that, we are never coming to another Giants game. It wasn’t one or two letters. It was a lot. It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”
The emotional nature of the issue perhaps has never been more clear than it has become in the last 24 hours, and than it will be in the next 24.