I wrote an article about Colin Kaepernick in 2016 and 2017. I vowed that I was done writing about him because the narrative had not changed. He is STILL unemployed by the NFL. Allow me a brief moment to reiterate his numbers. In six years in the league, he has thrown for 72 TDs and 30 INTs while leading his team to back-to-back conference championship games. One of those years, he led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl. He was the Len Eshmont Award winner for the most inspirational player with 49ers in 2016. That was the last year he played in the NFL. He had a six-year $126 million contract in 2014, but he can’t even get a workout with a team because of his peaceful protests of racial injustice in the United States.
The reason I went back on my word is due to his scheduled meeting with the Seattle Seahawks about being the backup quarterback to Russell Wilson. Finally, the team that coveted him last year is going to sign this guy and put to rest the drama. They made the mistake of signing Austin Davis as backup quarterback but they aren’t going to make that mistake again. The Seahawks finally realize that a taller version of Wilson is the perfect complement in case of an injury. Wrong! The team postponed the meeting after Kaepernick refused to say whether or not he’d continue the protests. You have got to be kidding me. What is even worse, they signed Austin Davis again to be the backup. There is a quarterback with the above stated credentials and you don’t even bring him to tryout because he wouldn’t give you a definitive answer on if he is going to protest or not. Of course it’s not just the Seahawks, but the other 31 teams that won’t even bother to give Kaepernick a chance. Last year a few owners and coaches locked arms with their players in solidarity but they won’t give him a tryout.
It also had to do with Kaepernick tweeting a quote of Jackie Robinson on April 15. In Major League Baseball, they honor Robinson on that day by, all players, coaches, managers and umpires wearing the No. 42, which MLB retired for all teams in 1997. Kaepernick quoted Robinson who said, “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world.” That was written in Robinson’s preface to his autobiography in 1972, the year he died. Kaepernick was again, drawing attention to what Robinson was doing while he was alive, the battle for racial equality in society.
It just boggles my mind that he wasn’t even given a shot to be a backup quarterback, not a starter. So many quarterbacks don’t have 30% of the abilities Kaepernick has, but are on an NFL roster. The quarterbacks like Brett Hundley, Trevor Siemian, Jay Cutler, and Josh McCown are being paid good money to be horrible. However, those quarterbacks have proven to be good citizens for the most part. It is ironic that 24-year-old 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster is facing an alleged domestic violence charge with his girlfriend. However, he is still facing two felony domestic violence counts and a felony weapons charge for possession of an assault weapon. Yet he is STILL on the team. He will not participate in the team’s offseason workout activities according to a statement made by the organization. The organization is comprised of CEO Jed York, GM John Lynch, and head coach Kyle Shanahan. “Reuben Foster will not participate in team activities as he is tending to his legal matters. As previously stated, his future with the team will be determined by the information revealed during the legal process. We will continue to follow this serious matter. Reuben is aware that his place in our organization is under great scrutiny and will depend on what is learned through the legal process.” This guy is up on three, count them THREE, felony charges and is still on the team. The NFL made such a big deal about domestic violence after the Ray Rice incident but Foster is still on the team. Again, how is this possible when Kaepernick has never been arrested for anything, not even a speeding ticket? The hypocrisy of the league is enormous and it is affecting his lively hood.
Maybe Kaepernick will make some money from endorsements. Recently, Mark King, the president of Adidas’ North American division said, “If he signs on a team, we would definitely want to sign him. We aren’t in the business of activism, we’re in the business of sports but allowing our athletes to tell their story, it’s really important to us.” So the only way Kaepernick gets the endorsement is if he is an athlete, meaning he must be signed with an NFL team. That is laughable. How quickly Adidas forgot that they endorsed Kendall Jenner, who was a non-athlete. King also said that they didn’t want to be perceived as “taking advantage of this noise or interest that [Kaepernick] had generated. Adidas loves athletes that have a platform to make the world a better place. If they’re an activist in a way that brings attention to something that moves the world forward, even if there’s controversy at that moment, we’re really interested in those athletes because I think it represents the world today.” Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth.
I sure hope this is the last time I have to write about the 30-year-old quarterback being a martyr for standing up for those who don’t have a voice.