I imagine it would have started with some of the players.
Maybe it was in Baltimore, at a players’ only meeting. The Baltimore organization had been very vocal about a number of pressing issues in the black community, including the fight for justice for Breonna Taylor, and Baltimore players had expressed pride in the organization for doing so. So, when no police officers were indicted for killing Breonna Taylor, perhaps the players were frustrated.
The organization’s statement had done nothing. Now it was time for them, the players, to make a stronger statement.
They had a big game coming up on Monday Night Football.
So, Baltimore players started texting KC players. KC’s players got together and had a meeting. Several of the players were still a little raw over the fans booing their moment of unity with Houston players in Week One.
They were in.
Both teams’ players went to their coaches.
“We’re not playing.”
By Thursday night, rumors were spreading like wildfire. On other teams, players were having their own meetings, and communicating with friends on other teams. No mention of any of it was made on the league’s Thursday night broadcast, but behind the scenes, things were happening quickly.
All around the league, players hastily called team meetings. Most of the players quickly agreed. Dissent among players was almost nil, with one rare exception that was quickly solved when Malcolm Jenkins stuffed Drew Brees in a locker.
By late Friday, all the teams had agreed. The players had spoken. The teams had no choice but to agree. The league had no choice but to accept.
On Saturday afternoon, Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith held a joint press conference. They announced the cancellation of the remainder of Week Three’s games. They indicated that Miami’s win on Thursday would count only as a tiebreaker to decide a potential playoff spot. Instead of games on Sunday and Monday, players and coaches from each team would make themselves available to media, and that attending media would be encouraged to ask questions relating to social justice issues.
Wouldn’t that have been something?
It's just a fantasy, though.
Week Three Picks
Winners in Bold:
Houston at Pittsburgh
Cincy at Philly
San Fran at NYG
LV at NE
Tenny at Minny
Washington at Cleveland
LAAries at Buffalo
Chicago at Atlanta
Carolina at LABolts
NYJ at Indy
Dallas at Seattle
Tampa at Denver
Detroit at Arizona
Green Bay at NO
KC at Baltimore