Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s decision to appear at two fundraisers for Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer’s campaign is a head-scratcher.
Reid will join Colyer at an event June 4 in Wichita and another June 6 in Mission Hills, the governor’s campaign announced Friday. Supporters will pay anywhere from $500 to $4,000 to hobnob with the Chiefs coach and Kansas’ Republican governor.
Colyer is in a fight for his political life as he battles Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and two other candidates in the GOP gubernatorial primary with the hope of advancing to the general election in November. But why is Reid getting involved?
The curious news came two days after the NFL effectively banned players and team personnel from kneeling in peaceful protest before the singing of the national anthem. For his part, Reid had relatively little to say on this important subject, leaving the distinct impression that he preferred to steer clear of a controversial and increasingly political issue. But yet, he’s willing to take sides in the most consequential political race in Kansas this year.
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The NFL policy will prohibit players from taking a knee during a rendition of the anthem. It allows them to stay in the locker room as it is played, though. Teams can be held accountable if a player violates the rule.
Asked on Thursday if the Chiefs had discussed the new policy as a team, the coach stammered.
“No, we didn’t do that,” he said.
Chiefs officials have been quiet as well. They had no comment on Reid’s foray into politics. A team spokesman referred The Star to Reid’s statement when asked about owner Clark Hunt’s stance on the new anthem policy. Hunt has said each of the past two seasons that he prefers players to stand during the national anthem.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said all 32 owners were on board during unofficial polling. In the end, the measure got 31 votes. San Francisco abstained. So, it’s clear where Hunt stands on the issue.
A spokesperson for Colyer’s campaign said they were excited and appreciative of the coach’s support. I’m not.
With little more than two months left until the August Republican primary, Colyer certainly needs all the help he can get. Perhaps Reid will provide a boost to the campaign. But if the coach is inclined to take a stand and wade into politics, why hem and haw about the anthem policy — an issue that actually affects his players?
“There will be a time when we address it and talk about it, but that will be within the team,” is how Reid put it. “Nobody else needs to really know.”
No, Coach, we do need to know your thoughts. But while you and the organization close ranks on the issue, let me offer a word of advice: Do your job and stick to sports.