UPDATE: Reporter now says that he and Kaepernick didn’t discuss the issue, says he merely “relayed what had been reported about him standing in the future.”
The National Football League is having a rough go of it while trying to balance entertainment and political expression.
If the league just wishes this all goes away, it’s doing an awful job of keeping the tantrums/protests out of the spotlight. For example, this happened just today:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 8, 2017
Now Colin Kaepernick–the player who started the protests last season–seems to be having an unemployment-induced change of heart:
Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, began kneeling during the national anthem in the 2016 preseason as a way to protest racial injustice and police brutality. He opted out of his 49ers contract after the season, although he was informed he would have been cut regardless.
Since then, he has not signed with an NFL team, though he has had workouts and at least passing interest from several organizations. However, dozens of quarterbacks, many with skills demonstrably weaker than Kaepernick’s, have been signed in his wake.
The low point for Kaepernick may have come last week when the Tennessee Titans signed Brandon Weeden, a 33 year-old journeyman quarterback who has thrown almost as many interceptions (30) in his career as touchdowns (31).
While it is true that Kaepernick’s skills had been diminishing (he was benched before he began kneeling for the anthem), he’s not that bad.
What will be interesting to see if a team should sign him is what effect, if any, it will have on players who still want to take a knee. His point has been made, as has the league’s regarding him. While the team owners have been silently playing hardball with Kaepernick, they have been rolling over for every other player who wants to protest, so it’s not a very consistent message.
It is highly possible that the league will continue to ostracize him for being the source of this mess that they’re obviously not dealing with very well. They can’t fire everyone who is currently on a roster and protesting, but they can keep Kaepernick off of one to make a point.