The timing of McCoy's invite to police officers is awfully curious.
Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Perhaps there's nothing to it at all, but the timing of LeSean McCoy's announcement Wednesday sure is interesting: the Bills running back said that he's inviting local police officers to Sunday's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.
Looking past McCoy's personal history with police officers—he was allegedly involved in an altercation with an off-duty cop in Philadelphia this offseason over a bottle of champagne, but charges were never filed—this invitation is coming the week the Bills host the 49ers. Which will mark Colin Kaepernick's return as San Francisco's starting quarterback this year—and his first meaningful role on the playing field since August, when he began to protest social inequality and injustice for African-Americans, and specifically police brutality.
But before you starting putting two and two together, according to NewYorkUpstate.com, McCoy says the timing of his invitation is strictly coincidental:
"It has nothing to do with Kap or San Fran. We've been in talks. It might be this week or next week or next home game. We've been talking and having conversations about it. I think that he might be doing the right thing. Everybody's opinion is never a wrong opinion. I think he's right for what he's saying as far as we need to be concerned about what's going on, because it is wrong. But again, there's good people and there's bad people. There's good cops and there's bad cops."
So 15 to 20 cops will come to a Bills game and McCoy will be their host. He even went on to shrug off his offseason incident with police officers, saying that it actually shows how genuine he is about this. No one is doubting that. It never hurts to build a relationship with the local police force. But this obviously wouldn't have been a story if he had just waited a week.
It will be interesting to see if Kaepernick is asked about this. Obviously, the NFL has deep ties to police and the entire criminal justice infrastructure. They have painted themselves as the league of law and order and while that's mostly been through marketing and relationship from the business side of teams and the league itself, actions like McCoy's—even if they are just incidental, as he says—start to take on new meaning as people stand with Kaepernick or disavow him.
"Just an appreciation thing," McCoy said. "[Police are] taking so much heat right now, and there's things that have happened that are definitely wrong, but I just feel like there's always bad people and good people. There's good cops and there's bad cops.... At the end of the day, if there's something wrong going on, if there's something dangerous, I'm sure Kap, he'll call the cops. He'll call 911." Which might be true, but Kap's point is not about whether he would call the cops but that the response might go differently if the call came from Chip Kelly instead.