Weeks after the start of free agency in the NFL, many players have either resigned to their team from the 2016-2017 season or found a new team to call home. Since free agency opened back on March 7th, we’ve seen players like Brandon Marshall, DeSean Jackson, and Latavius Murray switch teams. There were also plenty of quarterbacks on the market who signed with new teams this season. As a matter of fact, many quarterbacks flew off the market this offseason. Many except for one: Colin Kaepernick.
I’m pretty sure you heard by now how Mr. Kaepernick decided to not stand during the national anthem in protest of police brutality against minorities and then after the season ended, he end his protest. Well now even though Kaepernick has ended his protest, teams are still passing up on him for other quarterbacks that aren’t much better than him.
“Well, he’s just a bad football player.” That’s bull. You mean to tell me that a guy like Mark Sanchez can get signed to a team even though the last time he was in a game he stunk it up like the butt he ran into almost five years ago, but Kaepernick can’t get signed? Let me get you to understand that this is the same Colin Kaepernick that led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in the same timeframe and almost did it again a year later. Even though the read offense is all but dead in today’s NFL, Colin Kaepernick still has the talent to play for a team and, with the right coaches and players, run a good offense. And many NFL teams know this.
So why is Mr. Kaepernick still waiting in the unemployment line? Because he has fallen into the same game that other athletes who stood for something fall into, blackball. Guys like Chris Jackson and Craig Hodges who spoke out against injustices in America in a notable way would find themselves informally banned from their pro league, never able to find another club to sign him again (In their case, the NBA). Now Kaepernick has found himself in the same game with the NFL. NFL owners won’t touch him due to the controversy surrounding his anthem protest last season and they’ll use his play as of late as an excuse to not sign him. Yet those same owners will go out and sign guys like Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith and, EJ Manuel. Even Johnny Manzeil might get a second chance after not being in the league for a whole year and he has a chance to play under Sean Payton and mentored by Drew Brees.
Colin Kaepernick’s situation should be a reminder of what happens when black athletes use their platform to take action on injustices in America. Kaepernick’s actions was a spit in the face of the majority white management in the NFL just as Chris Jackson and Craig Hodges’ actions were in the face of the majority white management of the NBA.