When the 2017-18 NFL season kicks off in September, there’s a chance – maybe even a good chance – that Colin Kaepernick won’t be on an NFL roster. Even though he’s just four years removed from starting in a Super Bowl for the 49ers and started 11 games last season for San Francisco, Kaepernick has yet to sign with a team this offseason after parting ways with the Niners in early March.
Some people think it’s because Kaepernick hasn’t found the right fit for him just yet. Others think it’s because he wants too much money for a guy who will likely end up being a backup quarterback.
And everyone else, including the President of the United States, thinks it’s because he’s being blackballed from the league as a result of his decision to take a knee during the national anthem before games last season and speak his mind on important social issues.
But is that really the case? That’s the question many NFL players, coaches, and executives are being asked right now. And there doesn’t seem to be a consensus just yet. Some players think Kaepernick is being blackballed, while others aren’t sure.
Some suggest that Karpernick is a distraction and no NFL team wants that “distraction” from their backup quarterback, but recent history suggests that, that’s simply not true. NFL teams have been willing to accept some distractions from their backup quarterbacks, especially if that quarterback has shown any amount of potential, as Karpernick so clearly has during his NFL career.
Just two years ago, the Eagles signed Tim Tebow, who brings hoards of media with him wherever he goes, to be their third-string quarterback.
Before Tebow, the media’s favorite quarterback to cover was Michael Vick. The dude was the biggest story in sports after he was arrested and spent 18 months in prison for his role in an illegal dog-fighting ring. Vick would not only be a media distraction, but he would also attract plenty of protesters who didn’t feel he deserved to be in the NFL. But that didn’t stop the Eagles from giving him a two-year deal to play behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb. And it didn’t stop the Jets and Steelers from signing him to be their backup years later.
It’s abundantly clear why Kaepernick isn’t on a team: His politics. If Kaerpernick were a distraction for any other reason – maybe if he had simply been arrested or was partying too much – he would be on an NFL team right now. Guaranteed.
Instead, he dared to criticize a country that deserves plenty of criticism for its treatment of African Americans. And, as a result, he’s stuck without a job for which he is so clearly qualified.
Megan Huston is the sports editor at The Meteor. She can be reached at 936-348-3505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.