Race, Drugs, and the American Way: The 1-Week Countdown to Kickoff

Kaep’s continued controversy, a PED update & a hurt QB

It wouldn’t be the NFL if controversy didn’t drag on for eternity. At this point, everyone has issued a *hot take* and weighed in on the significance of Colin Kaepernick’s choice to stay seated for the national anthem. Most notably in the past couple of days: former Patriots player and current TV analyst Rodney Harrison set off another round when he claimed in a critique of the decision not to stand that Kaepernick isn’t black (the 49ers QB is, in fact). He later apologized and said he didn’t know… but might have been too late. On the flip side, some members of the military, including ex-NFLer Nate Boyer, have come forward in support of Kaepernick, which got the #VeteransForKaepernick hashtag trending on Twitter.

Photo via @treyfade

In controversies-that-shouldn’t-have-been, Steelers LB James Harrison and Packers defensive stars Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers have all been cleared of the performance-enhancing drug use allegations set forth by Al-Jazeera — the NFL could find no credible evidence to support the network’s claim.

Teddy Bridgewater. Photo via USA Today Sports

The NFL and the players and their families affected by concussion-related diseases have been embattled for a while now, and the tension looks to continue as the NFL-proposed settlement has been appealed, which now sends the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The current player injury news was grim for the Minnesota Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater, who was hurt while doing a non-contact drill during Tuesday’s practice. The QB was put on season-ending injured reserve after tearing his ACL and dislocating his knee, along with other structural damage but apparently no nerve damage.

Wow, that was a lot. We’ll end with some lighter news that shows good can come from setbacks:

The Dakburger. Photo: Snuffer’s Restaurant & Bar via Dallas SportsDay
  • Dallas restaurant Snuffer’s is rolling out the Dakburger on September 11 (the day the Cowboys open their regular season against the Giants) in support of the team’s new starting quarterback, Dak Prescott. From VP of Operation Services Tim Schroder:

“The Dakburger has performed surprisingly well in limited testing, but we were planning to keep tweaking it in the kitchen for another year or so before rolling it out to compete alongside the veteran burgers on our menu. We hope the Dakburger will become an immediate star and carry our menu for the next 10 years. Or at least the next six to 10 weeks.”

  • Colts punter Pat McAfee will be performing a sold-out stand-up comedy benefit for 2,500 people Friday night, and all the proceeds will go toward helping clean up the devastation caused by a tornado in Kokomo, Indiana, last week.

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