It has been exactly one year since Baltimore Ravens QB Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the National Anthem.
His “protest” aimed to draw attention to police brutality against minorities, but it may have cost Kaepernick his career.
Kaepernick’s biggest mistake was using NFL time and resources to make a statement. He is free to speak his mind on his own time, but game time on national television does not belong to him. There are plenty of pro football players with charities and good causes, but you don’t see them promoting their causes during a game.
A few examples:
• Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall’s “Project Borderline Foundation” helps people suffering from borderline personality disorder
• New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees’s “Brees Dream Foundation” helps kids fight cancer
• Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s “Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation” promotes success in underprivileged communities
• Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s “Jackson in Action Foundation” helps veterans and their families manage post-war stress and financial trouble
Any of these fine gentlemen with their charities could easily get public awareness and support by making a spectacle during a game, and in each case, it would help a lot of people. Kaepernick took it upon himself to usurp valuable game time. His protests have had no effect on his football skills. Kaepernick was ranked 29th in the 2017 QB Tiers survey – putting him ahead of six potential starters. Last year, he was ranked 28th.
Kaepernick voluntarily left the Ravens about five months ago. He is still unsigned.
“It is really not about his ability,” says one football exec. “It’s about the risk of what happens to the team concept when you sign a guy – a quarterback – who has put his personal agenda ahead of what we are all charged to do, which is put the team first…I don’t disparage what he did. I understand and I’m all for people standing up for a cause, just not while they’re at work.”
Editor’s note: Kaepernick broke the rules, but put the league in the embarrassing position of not being able to chastise him for fear of being accused of racism. No team owner will take a chance that he alienate fans and cost the team money. Let him sit.