Enough is enough already.
The blackballing of Colin Kaepernick needs to stop.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been a free agent since March 1st and now we are in the first week of August and he remains unsigned.
Last year, Kaepernick was in the headlines when he took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. He didn’t harm anyone in the process, but the way a lot of people reacted to it, you would have thought that he committed a serious crime. He took a harmless knee. He did this to stand up for the racial injustices happening across the country. He did this in order to bring awareness to a serious issue that people deal with on a daily basis.
Last week, the Baltimore Ravens contemplated signing Kaepernick after starting quarterback Joe Flacco was going to miss at least a week with a back injury and backup Ryan Mallett was looking awful taking first team reps. Head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome are both in support of signing Kaepernick. Owner Steve Bisciotti, however, is showing resistance.
Bisciotti has reached out to fans and sponsors to gauge how they would feel if the Ravens did indeed sign Kaepernick. Since when has the opinion of fans or sponsors been a factor in whether or not a team feels a player can help their team win? That thought process is nonsensical. He also reached out to former Ravens great, Ray Lewis, who said in a Twitter video that Kaepernick should be less vocal about his social activism.
Why should he be less vocal about something that affects a lot of people around the country? Also, let’s not forget that the Ravens are the same franchise that stood behind Lewis when he was accused of murder. Lewis later plead guilty for an obstruction of justice charge, but someone who took a knee in protest needs the approval from fans, sponsors and former players? Again, that’s nonsensical.
Seattle Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman, who is as outspoken as they come, recently spoke out on the issue to Jarrett Bell of USA Today. Sherman said, “What is it about? It’s not about football or color. It’s about ‘Boy, stay in your place.’” It’s hard to argue against Sherman’s claims.
He went on to question how someone like Ryan Fitzpatrick or whoever starts for the Jets have a job in this league and Kaepernick doesn’t. Last season, on a bad 49ers team, Kaepernick threw for 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Again, this was on a bad team.
“He may not be the best, but he’s better than a lot of these dudes starting,” Sherman said.
Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith and EJ Manuel are all names that have signed free agent deals this offseason. Kaepernick is better, even in a backup role, than all of the aforementioned names. Blake Bortles has a starting gig for the Jacksonville Jaguars, yet Kaepernick can’t even get signed as a backup? Let’s not forget that once upon a time, Kaepernick led the 49ers to a Super Bowl.
Sherman also said “You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand?” That is essentially what it’s coming down to, just because some people don’t like the way Kaepernick protested or don’t fully understand the reasoning.
Eagles safety Malcom Jenkins recently came out and said that any teams not wanting to sign Kap are “cowards.” Another hard point to argue. Some owners don’t want to have a “distraction” to their football team, regardless of numerous teammates of Kap saying he isn’t a distraction in the locker room.
Guys in the NFL get second chances all the time. Look at Mike Vick, who went to prison for running a dog fighting ring. He was back in the NFL and people seemed to put his crime in the past. Someone like Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of rape on two different occasions, yet the Steelers rewarded him with an extension. The New York Giants kept Josh Brown last season despite a domestic violence issue.
Kaepernick has a unique and dynamic skillset with his dual-threat capabilities as he can take off on his feet or launch the ball down the field. Some believe there is no fit for him in the NFL due to his skillset, but don’t you think that some offensive coordinators couldn’t draw up some packages for him, whether it was for a couple series or worse, to fill in for an injured starter?
Whether you want to believe it or not, Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL all because he took a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustices in this country. That is a major problem that needs a resolution and quite frankly needs to stop.