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Excerpt: "It appears NFL outfits are steering clear of Colin Kaepernick. It's been over two weeks since the football quarterback has been a free agent and he's still on the market. But is this a fair assessment?"

Colin Kaepernick. (photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Colin Kaepernick. (photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


Are NFL Teams Trying to Kill Colin Kaepernick's Career to Punish His Activism?

By teleSUR

19 March 17

 

Unlike other players, Kaepernick will be viewed through a skeptical lens for "KneelGate."

t appears NFL outfits are steering clear of Colin Kaepernick. It's been over two weeks since the football quarterback has been a free agent and he's still on the market. But is this a fair assessment? After all, there are hundreds of other players who find themselves on the free transfer market.

But unlike other players, Kaepernick is viewed through the skeptical lens of "KneelGate," and the activism of the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has drawn the ire of a significant chunk of U.S. patriots and an even larger portion of NFL fans. Kaepernick went from winning the 49ers’ Len Eshmont award — given to a 49er who “best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont” — to being arguably the “most hated player in the league.”

From Hero to Zero

The 29-year-old — who played in the Superbowl just four years ago — angered many when he opted to kneel during the national anthem in protest against the high-profile instances of police brutality involving African Americans. Many of his “haters” agree that Kaepernick should be granted the right to protest any cause he chooses. But they also claim he has chosen the wrong platform and has disrespected the national anthem — which represents the freedom he enjoys.

Kaepernick extended the unease when he referred to U.S. President Donald Trump as being “openly racist.” The president in response suggested that he finds another country to call home.

Is He Worth the Risk?

NFL teams are typically willing to weather controversy of any kind if the player involved can contribute at an above-average level.

Over the last three seasons, Kaepernick has completed just 59.7 percent of his passes at 6.9 yards, and he has an 85.9 passer rating, a figure that is below the league average for the same period. He also adds 1,363 rushing yards, which is the total number of yards as a result of the player carrying the ball, and four touchdowns over the same period, but his ability to run is not sufficient to up his stock.

An American Football Conference general manager told the Bleacher Report that there are three reasons “Kap” is still available.

First: “some teams genuinely believe that he can’t play. They think he’s shot. I’d put that number around 20 percent.

Second: “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or (President Donald) Trump will tweet about the team. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.

And third: “the rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did (kneeling for the national anthem). They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on. They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.”

Bleacher also reported that another NFL official referred to Kaepernick as "an embarrassment to football." To further cement the sentiment, an executive last year called Kaepernick a “traitor” and said he was the most disliked player since Rae Carruth — who murdered somebody.

“I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did,” an unnamed GM added.


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+2 # Saberoff 2017-03-19 11:08
What price character?
 
 
+5 # John of Milpitas 2017-03-19 11:12
A Marine advised him to use the one knee position as a form of protest, so I'm okay with that. Even if he remained sitting I'm not going to argue. What I do take issue with is him not registering to vote. If he doesn't like the presidential choices (I wasn't thrilled either) and doesn't want to vote for any, fine. There are still many other other positions and issues on the ballot to vote for. You have to vote.
 
 
+1 # RMF 2017-03-19 13:25
John of Milpitas
Yes, agree with your point about his failure to vote -- in that sense he was not unlike the Bernie or Busters, although I don't know if Kap was among that group.

Nonetheless, his action in opposition to police brutality, on a very big public stage, remains a courageous one, and all too infrequent from those in a position of economic privilege -- it's so much easier to stay quiet, get along and go along -- didn't we see something similar back in the 20th century, apparently not even a faint memory to many present day minds.

But as I said I am done with the NFL for good and forever. The NFL could have shown leadership by advancing the dialogue on police brutality, but no, instead they acted like sniveling cowards, concerned only with protecting their monopoly. And now they compound their venality by sending a chilling message to the players -- speak up and you are out!
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-03-21 06:45
So the NFL should take a principled and vocal stand but progressives should have just shut up and voted for a corporatist warmonger who stole the nomination?

Inconsistent much? Maybe the NFL, like the Democrap Party, decided money is more important than principles. Maybe the NFL, like the DP, decided it was more important to protect the rich than the people.

It would be so great if you held the Dems as responsible as you do the NFL.
 
 
-1 # RMF 2017-03-21 09:27
librarian:
The NFL is a league of professional sports teams, not per se a democratic political institution.

The DNC, unlike the NFL, is a political party. And yes, true progressive should have supported the DNC nominee -- Hillary Clinton. Those who did not are a weird combination of hypocrite/faux progressives -- who seemingly would rather fight than win.

Just one example -- about 50 percent of US births are covered by Medicaid insurance -- not only will Trumpcare kick many of these expectant mothers off Medicaid, but with House amendments (to get Freedom Caucus support) will also include a work requirement for Medicaid eligibility.

How many babies will die because of this cruel slashing of health care for those in poverty? More generally, estimates show that for every 1000 insured losing insurance, one will perish prematurely for lack of health care.

That, along with other Trump/GOP initiatives, is way too high a price for (un)principled advocacy by the Bernie or Busters, simply for an imagined and febrile "principle."

Surprised you can't tell difference -- either between the NFL and DNC or, for that matter, between bona fide progressives working for the common good and political dilettantes out to make a big noise, but in the end accomplishing nothing but disaster.
 
 
+4 # RMF 2017-03-19 11:32
I used to watch NFL football. But after this fiasco regarding Kap, which only increased his esteem in my eyes, I am now done -- and will not be watching any NFL at all this coming season or any season thereafter.

I regret that more players did not have the courage to join Kap's resistance against police brutality. But apparently most players, understandably enough, enjoy their status, and the associated economic/manage rial systems have them cowed with fear over losing it.

Had more joined Kap that could have provided safety in numbers. But now Kap is being figuratively "hanged" all alone. The NFL and management is taking the opportunity to send a clear and chilling message -- no political expression contrary to Trumpian fascism will be tolerated whatsoever.

This will only get worse with the Trumpian fascists in control -- one thing the Trumpians know is how to bully opponents into submission. Though not a perfect candidate (is there really such a thing) the US political stage, as Bernie proclaimed, would have been much better under a Hillary Clinton presidency.
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2017-03-21 06:48
I agree. More players should have had the courage to join Kap.

And more so-called progressives should have been willing to stand up to the party as they cheated a winner who threatened the status quo for the benefit of a loser they feared.
 
 
0 # chapdrum 2017-03-19 13:05
Would the NFL do that?
 
 
+7 # lfeuille 2017-03-19 14:58
"Bleacher also reported that another NFL official referred to Kaepernick as "an embarrassment to football." To further cement the sentiment, an executive last year called Kaepernick a “traitor” and said he was the most disliked player since Rae Carruth — who murdered somebody."

It's football itself that is an embarrassment. Kaepernick partially redeemed it.
 

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