The NFL is a talent driven business, or so they say. But in this league, the one thing that means more than talent is reputation. For Colin Kaepernick, his reputation is leading to the early end of his career.
For those people out there posting Colin Kaepernick memes of his five interception game, realize, that Jay Cutler just got signed. And before that, David Olson. And before that, Geno Smith. And before that, Mark Sanchez. The list goes on.
What Colin Kaepernick did as a whole was a bit much. Did he stand for what he believed in, in a peaceful and respectable way? Yes. And because of that, there should be no issues as to what he did. So what, he didn’t stand for the National Anthem, it wasn’t like he spit on a group of military veterans.
Where Kaepernick was wrong was over generalizing. He shouldn’t have worn the Fidel Castro shirt, or the socks that had cops as pigs. He should’ve gone to the podium and spoke about how the police force who were and are unjustifiably harming people of color should not be the people protecting this country. How there needs to be justice for the people hurt or killed by police officials who are racially targeting.
Outside of generalizations, though, Colin Kaepernick has never done anything wrong. Certainly not wrong enough to keep him off all 32 NFL teams when he’d be a starting quarterback on more than one of them.
If players like Greg Hardy, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, and so many more were able to earn a second chance, why is it so hard for Kaepernick to? The answer is easy – People seem to believe that Colin Kaepernick is anti-American, when in fact, he’s as far from it as possible.
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Google Colin Kaepernick. Scroll pasts the posts where people are talking about whether or not he should be in the NFL. Want to know what you’ll find next? Pages and pages of articles detailing donations Kaepernick has made throughout his career.
$50,000 to Meals on Wheels, $1 million to multiple charities just in the year 2017, the list goes on. This guy is a model citizen, yet, because of the media and the depiction we as Americans have given him, he’s looked at as nothing more than a terrorist.
“Steve Bisciotti has not told us we cannot sign Colin Kaepernick, nor has he blocked the move. Whoever is making those claims is wrong.” A direct quote from Baltimore Ravens general manager, Ozzie Newsome to ESPN’s Dianna Russini.
“We do want to win games, and I’m not sure [Kaepernick] is going to help us do that.” Another direct quote, this time from Steve Bisciotti himself.
Want to know who the Ravens signed instead of Colin Kaepernick? David Olson, an arena league quarterback. Want to know how long he lasted with the Ravens? Three days.
You really think Kaepernick isn’t as good as someone who only lasted three days?
Now, we’re in Miami. Ryan Tannehill goes down with a knee injury and is out for the season. So, on the short list of quarterbacks the Dolphins are looking to sign as their 2017 starter, they sign Jay Cutler. The guy who went 1-4 in his only five games last season, threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and was called a loser by his teammates.
Oh, and to top it all off, his exact words in his first press conference in Miami was, “The good thing is I play quarterback, so I don’t really have to be in that great of cardiovascular shape.”
So, let’s break it down. Colin Kaepernick has now had two shots to sign with a team and was passed up for someone who lasted three days on the roster, and an out of shape Jay Cutler.
There’s the problem. The NFL may be saying Kaepernick isn’t being signed because of his off the field reputation, but there is no denying that it’s the only reason. Because when guys who are nowhere near Kaepernick’s ability, and guys who are out of shape, get signed over him, there’s no other explanation than weighing in the factor of how he is perceived in this country.
If this league were based solely off of talent, the former Super Bowl contending quarterback would’ve had a job months ago. Teams like the New York Jets wouldn’t be having a quarterback competition between two players who are lifelong backups at best.
That’s not how this league is run, though. Guys like Colin Kaepernick may never get another shot because believe it or not; people care more about reputation than winning and losing. And the worst part, is they don’t see Kaepernick has done nothing wrong.
This isn’t necessarily a race problem. This is the NFL, a sport predominantly run by minorities. This is an ignorance problem. An issue that has only gotten this out of hand because people do not look at the details, but only the big picture. Because a majority of the people only see Kaepernick not standing for the National Anthem and wearing a Castro shirt.
What they don’t see is the message, and the respect he put into sending it. He did not yell. He did not harm anyone. He simply kneeled in front of a stage large enough to get his point across. In a country built from peaceful protest, that is something that should be admired, not discriminated against.
We, as a whole, need to realize that Colin Kaepernick is not someone who shouldn’t be allowed to work. He hasn’t done anything to keep him off NFL rosters while players are still being suspended for drugs and domestic violence.
The NFL, the media, and the ignorance have created the monster that is Colin Kaepernick.
The problem is that he’s the farthest thing from a monster.