News & Politics

Note to AP: There's a Reason Kaepernick Isn't Playing, And It's Not His Activism

(AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Colin Kaepernick doesn’t play football anymore. He’d like to, but he doesn’t. No one wants him on their team, even as a backup.

However, Paul Newberry of the Associated Press thinks players in the NFL should push to get Kaepernick a gig.

“Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid are good enough to be playing for someone,” Newberry writes, adding, “That much is beyond debate.”

He continues, “But the league has decided to make an example of them, a clear warning to its employees that only so much social activism will be tolerated even while it feigns a sense of respecting their desire to protest during the national anthem.”

The problem is that while Reid is a decent player, he wants more than teams want to give him. Kaepernick, at this point, just wants anything.

But both players are huge distractions. The problem is not that the players take positions on social justice issues. The problem is that they want to do it on the field, drawing attention to them as individuals and making conversations about them, distracting teammates from focusing on the next game as reporters continue to ask about Kaepernick and Reid.

Even if the players agree with the two men, it doesn’t matter. It’s a distraction.

NFL teams have a long and storied history of taking issue with distractions. Terrell Owens, one of the most talented wide receivers in the league, was unceremoniously dumped despite his last season (2010) in the league being his one of his best since 2004 in total yards and catches despite only starting 11 games and only playing 14.

The problem was, Owens was a distraction. When it came down to it, he wasn’t productive enough for teams to overlook his history, and that was without any “social activism.”

Kaepernick and Reid are not in Owens’s league when it comes to talent, in my opinion, and if Owens couldn’t get back into the league, they might want to think about that.

Reid has a shot. He should take what is offered and prove that he’s not a distraction. Longer-term deals will come if he does that. Big money ones, even.

Kaepernick, however, is done. Frankly, he wasn’t that good a quarterback prior to leaving San Francisco. He’s a second- or third-string quarterback at this point, but no one wants a distraction in that role. Hell, he made it all about him as a backup in the first place. Why would anyone expect any different from him this time around?