The NFL's Moral Compass: Yes To Aldon Smith, but No To Colin Kaepernick?

It was only three weeks ago when the controversial but talented edge rusher, Aldon Smith, began applying for reinstatement in the NFL. Less than three weeks later, he already has a new home, as the Dallas Cowboys decided take a gamble on Smith despite his messy track record.

Smith has not played a single down of football since the 2015 season, only recording 3.5 sacks through 9 games that year. Despite his productivity declining over his last two seasons, NFL teams were still ready to sign him once he was allowed back into the league. The signing becomes even more despicable once you take into account his criminal record, which includes multiple DUIs, a domestic violence incident, and of course, the bomb threats he made at an airport.

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This isn't the first time that the Cowboys decided to take a risk on a DE with a troubled past (need I remind you of the Greg Hardy fiasco?), but his instant reinstatement still exposes a major issue with the NFL and their flawed moral compass.

What message does it send to the fans that Aldon Smith, a man whose last arrest wasn't even a full year ago, found a new team so quickly, meanwhile Colin Kaepernick was blackballed from the NFL for refusing to "stick to sports"? It definitely does not send a very good one.

Although he did not post the best numbers during his last season, Kaepernick still proved himself to be an NFL-level QB, completing 59.2 percent of his passes with a 4:1 TD-INT ratio in 2016. Not bad, right? Wrong, according to NFL owners. They felt like his productivity was not worth the "controversy" that came with it, as teams would continue to shy away from signing him.

Despite the NFL's attempts at making things right, offering him a chance to work out in front of team scouts last November, the damage had already been done. They had already made their stance clear when it came to black athletes with a political opinion. If Colin were to play again, he would've had to play by their rules; a set of rules created with a broken moral compass.

As a lifelong football fan, I will always love the NFL, even if they make it hard sometimes. I will continue to cheer on, even if I cringe at the sight of Aldon Smith, Richie Incognito and Kareem Hunt on my TV screen.

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