Blindsided; The Corporate Bull Rush
October 13, 2017
In the summer of 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began a peaceful protest against the killing of unarmed African American citizens by the police, and the inequality in American society. Since then, Colin Kaepernick has faced harsh criticisms by the American public, media outlets, and even the President of the United States himself. So, when Kaepernick opted out of his 49ers contract, the NFL world watched and wondered where he would take his talents next. However, it’s been almost 7 months since Kaepernick waded into the waters of free agency, and an NFL team has not yet signed him.
How can this be? Colin Kaepernick has played solid since he joined the league in 2011, and despite a left shoulder injury that cut his 2015 season short, he has maintained a QBR (quarterback rating) of 88.9, and an impressive touchdown to interception ratio of 85 to 30. Josh McCown is a 38 year old quarterback who has played for 6 NFL teams, has experienced myriad injuries from concussions to a broken clavicle, has a career QBR of 78.7, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 91 to 72, yet the New York Jets decided he was their guy rather than Kap. Jay Cutler retired from the Chicago Bears and was looking at a contract for FOX Sports TV, yet the Miami Dolphins had the nerve to sign Cutler over Kaepernick, even though Cutler had shown little interest in returning to the NFL. It’s ridiculous that multiple NFL teams have ignored Colin Kaepernick even though out of all available free agents, he is one of the top quarterbacks.
While many teams have shown need of a new starting or backup quarterback, none of said teams have signed Kaepernick to a contract. NFL owners spit out words such as “he doesn’t fit our system” or that “he is too good to be a backup quarterback”. These aren’t the reasons that Kap hasn’t been signed. Rather, the truth is that NFL owners can’t sleep at night. Instead of Super Bowl rings and Lombardi Trophies dancing around in their dreams, the prospect of signing Kaepernick gives them nightmares of season ticket holders rescinding their subscriptions. They see Kaepernick jerseys burning in the parking lots, and fear that their names are next on the naughty list. So when NFL owners tell you that Kap hasn’t been signed because of anything other than his protest and public opinion, don’t believe it.
Colin Kaepernick has more than enough talent and leadership to be at least a backup for an NFL team; he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl for crying out loud. Nevertheless, he has been blackballed by the NFL, while other players with far less talent are filling up rosters. It is ridiculous that Kaepernick has been denounced for his protest rather than praised, as he is standing up for those less fortunate, and being a moral example over many other players.
Despite his injury, Kap can help many teams in this league enormously, both on and off the field. Hopefully the NFL will finally see him for the player he is, and he’ll find a spot on a roster.