NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick will once again stand for the playing of the National Anthem. That is what ESPN reported on 03/03/17. However, the excuse given for Kaepernick’s change of behavior is something out of a political playbook.
Yeah, right. We are supposed to believe that Kaepernick’s current status as an unemployed free agent has nothing to do with him ending his protest.
Did Kaepernick cook his own goose last season by refusing to stand for the National Anthem?
Sports writer Mike Florio believes that it is possible. He writes the following.
“This year, Kaepernick will be available as a free agent. A signing with the Browns won’t happen. . . It’s unclear why the Browns won’t be in the Kaepernick business. Ultimately, one of the factors could be business related, given the polarizing nature of his National Anthem protests of a year ago. Kaepernick’s political stance could be a factor for multiple teams, given that each franchise ultimately must attract customers to buy tickets and/or to watch games on television. In a swing state that recently went red, signing Kaepernick could alienate half of the fan base, or more.”
Sports writer David Steele believes that Kaepernick is being blackballed by NFL teams. After defending Kaepernick’s playing ability, Steele writes, “Of course this isn’t about football. It’s about maintaining the status quo, or what NFL teams believe that to be. It’s about not ruffling feathers, or at least the feathers NFL teams care about ruffling.”
Sports writer Andy Benoit believes the opposite. He writes, “There has been a deluge of veteran quarterback moves since free agency opened on March 9. Several teams still have dire needs at the position. And yet we’ve barely heard a peep about free agent Colin Kaepernick. There’s one conspicuous reason why, and it has nothing to do with him not standing for the national anthem last year. It has everything to do with him not standing firm in the pocket.”
I know nothing about Kaepernick’s playing ability. What I do know is that professional athletes are professional athletes because sports fans are willing to buy tickets in order to watch professional athletes in action. The owners of NFL teams know that, too, which is why they are reluctant to hire a player who might drive away fans.
If NFL teams don’t want Kaepernick, then the problem is his, not theirs. Nobody in the NFL owes Kaepernick a job.
Perhaps Kaepernick’s goose isn’t completely cooked. He could always try out for a team in the Canadian Football League. After all, that league doesn’t play the USA’s national anthem at the beginning of games.