Here's a Vine of Knighton before the Jets game:
As he warmed up, Knighton doubtless had no clue he'd be dragged into the debate over the league's new N-word rule, which has been raging for months. Consider a March MMBQ.com item in which Tennessee cornerback Jason McCourty pointed out (as if he needed to) that the offensiveness of the term, or lack thereof, varies due to usage and situation.
"It's a common word in so many players' everyday lives," Jason McCourty told writer Peter King. "Among African-American players and people, it's used among friends all the time. It seems like a bit much for the NFL to try to get rid of it. It's a pretty common word in the locker room, like 'man,' 'bro,' 'nigga.' But once a white person says it, it's a derogatory term."
Predictably, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was even stronger in his pronouncements about what was then merely a proposal. "It's an atrocious idea," he said. "It's almost racist, to me."Nonetheless, the NFL went ahead with the rule, and a few weeks back, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who'll face Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday, was fined for N-word usage. He appealed, claiming the word didn't actually pass his lips, and the NFL balked slightly, reducing the sum by half -- a decision that still frustrates Kaepernick, although he's said he won't appeal again.
ESPN reports that Knighton is unlikely to appeal his fine, as well. But in punishing him for such a dubious offense, the league is casting bogus aspersions on one of the Broncos' most thoughtful and socially responsible players. As we noted in a September post, he was among only two Denver players (the other was cornerback Chris Harris) to publicly weigh in on the Ray Rice domestic-violence issue after the release of a video showing the ex-Baltimore running back punching out his fiancee. Here are four tweets on the subject:
That man should be thrown out the the nfl and thrown into jail. Shame on those deciding his punishment. Smh— Terrance Knighton (@MrKnighton2u) September 8, 2014
If there's anyway to open that case up and give this guy the punishment he deserves, it NEEDS to be done.— Terrance Knighton (@MrKnighton2u) September 8, 2014
As players we must speak up. Stand up for what's right. I don't give a damn who u are or how much money you make. No place for this.— Terrance Knighton (@MrKnighton2u) September 8, 2014
This video makes me sick to my stomach.— Terrance Knighton (@MrKnighton2u) September 8, 2014
Earlier this week, Knighton tweeted about Columbus Day, another controversial topic -- and one that deals with issues of race. He wrote:
We celebrate Columbus Day for what reason? I'll wait....... And if you say he discovered America you will get blocked.... I'll wait....— Terrance Knighton (@MrKnighton2u) October 13, 2014
Thus far, Knighton hasn't used Twitter to share his thoughts about what exactly he said to get fined or what he thinks of the rule -- but we'd love it if he did. We have a feeling he sack this ludicrous edict for a considerable loss.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.