The Real Reason Colin Kaepernick Isn't Playing Football

Thursday, 31 August 2017 |
Published in Blog

I do not believe the NFL is collectively conspiring against Colin Kaepernick.  There—I said it.

Now that I have your attention, cool your itchy, coon huntin’ Twitter fingers and hear me out.

This week marks the one year anniversary in which NFL fans first took notice of then San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem.  A lot has changed for Kaepernick since that time.

He was moved into the starting lineup, taking the job back from, “Shit Stain” Blaine Gabbert (SSBG).  Now, let’s get one thing clear, my disdain towards SSBG isn’t personal.  It was just that as a life-long 49ers fan  it was hard to understand why in the blue hell the team would bench Kaepernick, who at the time had racked up 31 career wins—including 4 playoff wins in favor for a guy who had won 5 games TOTAL over the same span!  It’s like filling a wine glass with Robitussin and calling it merlot.  Nah breh, it’s still shitty-tasting Robitussin.

Fast forward to present day.  SSBG is currently a backup quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals while Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned.

NFL owners and general managers have historically put winning above just about everything else--including domestic abuse.  In April 2016 The New York Giants rewarded kicker Josh Brown with a $4M extension despite knowing  he was under investigation for abuse of his wife Molly.  Keep in mind that the NFL season runs from September to February.  There are no field goals to be made in April.  Hell, training camp won’t even start for at least another two months.  Yet, the front office felt compelled to give the guy a new contract simply because he can kick a football straight.

Consider these two polarizing quotes from New York Giants president John Mara:

“We believe we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh.”

Yet, just a few short months later, when discussing the mere possibility of signing Colin Kaepernick Mara responded:

“All my years being in the league, I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue.”  He continued:

“It wasn’t one or two letters.  It was a lot.  It’s an emotional, emotional issue for a lot of people, moreso than any other issue I’ve run into.”

I have a huge problem with this statement.  Mara is basically saying that Giants fans have a greater tolerance for a man physically, verbally, and emotionally abusing his wife than for a man who peacefully protested a song for the sake of social justice.  And it is for this very reason that the team can’t even consider signing Kaepernick.  Which brings me back to my opening decree.

I don’t believe the NFL, or it’s owners are conspiring to keep Kaepernick out of league.  They simply don’t have too.  Colin Kaepernick’s dilemma is not an issue of conspiracy—it’s an issue of diversity.

The NFL is run by a bunch of like-minded individuals with the same set of values.  Personally, I find that to be a problem for any organization.  The NFL suffers from a lack of diversity among its decision makers.  There are simply not enough people in positions of authority sitting at the table saying,  “Wait a minute.  This man has done nothing illegal, nothing against league rules.  If he can help us win games, we’re bringing him in.  Conversation over.”

Even if Mara was not exaggerating about the extent of the letters he received, it doesn’t acquit the team from the fact that they signed Brown to a contract after he was arrested for domestic violence.  All the while, Kaepernick is considered too risky to even bring in for a workout.  It just doesn’t add up.

The real issue is one of two things.  Either it’s the lack of diversity (and not just diversity of race, gender, or sexual orientation—but rather diversity of perspective) among the front office personnel or it’s the imbalance of influence of the subset of fans that oppose Kaepernick’s protest efforts versus those who support him.  Or maybe it’s a combination of both.

Either way, I cannot in good conscience, support any of the 32 teams that make up the NFL at the moment.  There needs to be a real shift in diversity of perspective in the NFL.  We need to see less ‘Josh Brown’s and more ‘Colin Kaepernick’s in the league.

Until that shift begins to occur, I’ll remain on the sidelines—right along with Colin Kaepernick.

The Last Dance

Here is my solution for the NFL’s current domestic violence issue.  I understand there is a such thing as due process, but let’s not forget—at the end of the day they are still only playing a game.  If a player is arrested for domestic violence, his team has 48 hours to terminate his contract.  If the team terminates the contract within that time frame, the following should then occur:

  • The team receives no salary cap penalty tied to the termination of the contract (i.e. the team can go out and immediately sign a replacement player)
  • The team then can choose a portion of the players remaining contracted salary to then donate to an approved non-profit organization for domestic abuse
  • The NFL should take the remaining portion of that players salary and place into a second fund
  • This fund should then be maintained and used to help the accused player cover his living expenses and maintain a decent standard of living while the litigation process plays out
  • If the player is then found to be guilty of DV, or any lesser charge his old team is to receive an extra draft pick relative to the size of the donation made to the non-profit organization
  • If the player is acquitted or the charges are dropped the NFL is responsible for paying the complete remainder of the player’s terminated contract

 

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