Collectively, the most hated man in the NFL
The only side I am taking on this issue is the for the PLAYER. I have many friends and family in some type of uniform service. I also have friends who supported the reasoning behind the actions of Colin. I am strictly sticking to Kaepernick the player when writing this. Of course, his actions on and off the field hover over the issue at hand and with Jay Cutler possibly being the newest member of the Miami Dolphins, who could not get a job after the last three awful seasons he had in Chicago, I think it is time to examine whether or not Kaepernick is jobless because of his ability on the field or due to taking a knee.
Colin Kaepernick was a starting Quarterback for the San Francisco 49'ers in the Super Bowl.
A backup QB to then starter Alex Smith during the 2012 season, Kaep got the attention of many fans around the NFL after a Week 10 performance against the New York Jets (I was at the game, it was over in the first quarter all because Kaep was doing what the Jets were trying to do with Tim Tebow………TEBOW REFERENCE!!!) He remained starter after Alex Smith sustained a concussion and went on to lead the Niners to the Super Bowl where they fell short of a comeback against the Baltimore Ravens.
Kaepernick thrived under then Head coach Jim Harbaugh. He got the team to the playoffs again after being named the starter that season coming up short to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game. It was looking like Kaepernick would be the next “Star” NFL QB that was a dual threat.
Right before the 2014 season, Kaepernick signed a lucrative 6 yr deal with 49'ers. It seemed from that point, we were witnessing the downward spiral. He was fined for inappropriate language and also wearing BEATS headphones (because the league’s sponsors was BOSE) The Niners ended the year at .500 with very up and down play by Kaepernick and Jim Harbaugh left to become the head coach at the University of Michigan at the end of the season.
2015 was awful for Kaepernick, The team hired a new head coach that he never clicked with, he was benched multiple times before having his season end due to a shoulder injury. Again, a new head coach in 2016 and starting as the team’s backup, Kaepernick took more of a interest in current events at the time when it came to policing in the United States.
(His career stats referenced on the below)
The Black Lives Matter movement was becoming more relevant. Kaepernick started to become more vocal on civil rights and police brutality issues in the United States. He made the decision to take a knee during the national anthem over the oppression of black people in the United States.(Even down to some controversial socks during practices mocking the police)
Multiple players joined Kaepernick. Some with their own twists like holding their fists in the air while standing for the anthem. It became the ire of fans around the league. Many owners were concerned over the matter. Missed in all of this was his statistical numbers for the 2016 season.
He played in 12 games, threw for 2,241 yards, 16 TD passes thrown, and 4 interceptions. much better over his last year and half in the league. All while taking a stand as he would put it. It was a good year for a QB that had some issues the year before looking for stability in the league.
The season ended, he left the niners, and vowed to end his knee ritual……no team came calling.
The New York Jets, in the middle of a pursuit of being one of the worst teams in the NFL, notably with Quarterback issues for the last few seasons, seemed like an obvious first landing spot, that was until people realized that Woody Johnson, team owner would probably not entertain having him play for the Green and White. That and supporting Donald Trump during his campaign for President where he ripped apart Kaepernick for his actions probably made the Jets less than likely.
There were teams like the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns in need of a stop gap QB under Center that could probably take in Kaepernick without a backlash from fans. They too never even kicked the tires on him. Every team picked up there QB whether to compete to start or even just be a backup. Kaepernick sits…….
During the off-season, Kaepernick was a major advocate in helping with the famine in Somalia, working with many social media stars and actor Ben Stiller, Kaepernick was able to facilitate the use of a Turkish Airlines jet to deliver the food and water to those in need. Again, he was criticized for who he was helping and not making strides to provide for those in the United States……he still was unemployed at the time. Some thought it was for publicity to get on the better side of owners in the NFL. He continued sitting……
The Baltimore Ravens Starting Quarterback Joe Flacco is currently hurt with a back injury. With management and the coaching staff fearful he may not start the regular season playing, there were calls for Kaepernick to be signed. The Owner Steve Biscotti refused the request to sign him. This led to Kaepernick’s wife to refer Biscotti as a racist due to his refusal to even entertain signing her husband without reasoning.
Just yesterday, the Miami Dolphins lost their starting Quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a ACL injury. It started to raise the question if the Dolphins would have interest in bringing him on the team. Stephen Ross, owner of the Dolphins, was one of the few owners that stuck up for the actions of Kaepernick. But with recent requests for additional new stadium funding and the backing of the league, it comes to no surprise that Jay Cutler may never call a game for Fox Sports due to his ties to head coach Adam Gase from their time in Denver.
Today, USA Today’s interview with Seattle Seahawks cornerback ( and outspoken advocate of many things to say the least) Richard Sherman, made some comments about why Kaepernick has not gotten a job.
“For you to say you have to check with sponsors and fans because this guy took a knee and made a statement?” Sherman said. “Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing. But Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now — whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible — have jobs. You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand? That’s where it’s so troublesome to me.”
Sherman cited a few examples, including the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Blake Bortles and the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff, as starters that don’t measure up to Kaepernick.
“Blake Bortles has shown you enough to where you don’t think Kaep would be a solid fit?” Sherman added. “Kaep has won games.”
Colin Kaepernick’s is in the situation he is in due to the choices he has made. Just like Ray Rice dragging his then drunk girlfriend and striking her at a Atlantic City Hotel who still and probably will not ever have a job in the NFL again. Michael Vick illegally fighting dogs, serving time, and never regaining his form in the NFL while still being ridiculed by the fans. All were at one time in same situation as Kaepernick.
The fans and ownership have every right to voice their opinion as much as Kaepernick does though. With every passing day, it seems more and more likely that one player who took “a stand” will be kept out of the league not because of his play but due to his actions and beliefs. A player that has so much potential and was a rising star in the league came crashing down.
Kaepernick decided to take a knee. And the rest of the league let the clock run out……………