The 2017 NFL league year began on March 9th, and Colin Kaepernick (famous for kneeling during the National Anthem) still doesn’t have a job.
It’s not that uncommon for some teams for wait weeks or months before hiring new players, but as far as I know Kaepernick hasn’t visited a single team.
“I can’t find a quarterback-needy team that’s interested. Again, things can change quickly, but the silence is deafening,” says NFL National Lead Writer Mike Freeman. Kaepernick seems to be in “NFL limbo.”
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback created a nationwide firestorm last year when he refused to stand during the National Anthem. According to Kaepernick, the protest was his way of speaking out against police treatment of minorities and the declining state of race relations in the US.
Kaepernick has every right to express his opinions, but a football game is neither the time nor the place.
A great many players run charities in their free time, but you don’t see them holding signs or promoting their charities on the field. On top of that, Kaepernick’s action embarrassed his coaches, his teammates, and the entire NFL.
Let’s look at things from a financial standpoint. The NFL made $13 billion in revenue in 2016. Viewership dropped 8% that year, and many cite Kaepernick’s protest as a primary reason. So one could argue that Kaepernick cost the Leaguee over $1 billion in lost revenue.
One AFC general manager estimates that 20% of NFL coaches think Kaepernick’s career is over, that he can’t play. Another 10% are worried that signing him will prompt damaging tweets from President Donald Trump (they’re probably right).
“The rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did. They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.”
Freeman predicts that eventually, a team “desperate for a competent QB” will sign Kaepernick despite the potential backlash. Kaepernick has stated that he will be standing during the National Anthem from now on.
Editor’s note: We talked about this before in Green’s article “Kaepernick Should Be Fired.” Football is not war, it is not politics, it is entertainment. No player should be allowed to interfere with that to push his personal agenda, or be allowed to be a bad role model for the kids watching the game. Kaepernick put his teammates, the team owners and the entire NFL in a bad spot. Now, it appears, he is paying the price. And rightfully so.
By the way, do I think its a ‘conspiracy’ or ‘blacklist’ by the NFL to keep Kaepernick out? No. I believe its 32 team owners deciding this guy is not worth the risk.