The story of Colin Kaepernick not being signed by an NFL team is not going away. Mainly because the great lengths NFL teams have gone to in order to sign anyone but the 29-year-old former Super Bowl QB.
Kaepernick has been a lightning rod for criticism ever since he made the choice to first sit and later kneel during the National Anthem prior to games last season.
His reason was to protest police brutality and what he deems as racial bias in the justice system. But many folks put their own meaning on his protest as disrespecting the flag which often leads to the notion that he is disrespecting the military. And speaking as someone who served in the military, I can tell you that is a extremely misguided interpretation of Kaepernick’s protest.
We serve to protect what the flag represents. Which is freedom. The very freedom Kaepernick was exhibiting with his silent, peaceful protest. To dictate Kaepernick’s actions here is to not live in a free country. This is not debatable. It’s literally in the oath which myself and all service members take upon signing up.
There are a great many people who either believe or would like everyone to believe Kaepernick being unemployed is solely due to his lack of talent. Or at very least he simply isn’t talented enough to overcome the ‘distraction’ he would supposedly be in the locker room. Even though his former 49ers teammates said he was not a distraction and went as far as to bestow upon him last season’s Len Eshmont Award for inspirational and courageous play.
You can add Derek Carr to those who can attest to Kaepernick’s talent and character.
“I know this; he’s a talented football player,” Carr said of Kaepernick. “And the times I’ve talked to Colin, he’s a great person, I’ve enjoyed it. I can’t speak for any other teams or organizations. Obviously we have quarterbacks so he won’t come here, but I wish him the best and I hope he gets signed, I really do. I don’t know if he wants to play or if he doesn’t, all that stuff, but if he does, I really hope he gets signed because as a football player, he can help a football team.”
Carr should know Kaepernick would like to play. Kap has said as much and has even said he would not continue his protest next season should he be signed by another club.
Kap has been passed up a lot this offseason. Most recently the Ravens opted to add an arena league QB over him. Reports said Ravens coaches and GM were ready to sign Kaepernick but the owner stepped in and said no. That is just about the definition of being blackballed.
Carr is as surprised as the rest of us that his fellow Central Valley native and Mountain West alum is still waiting to get the call.
“It was surprising to me, just talent wise,” Carr said of Kaepernick being unsigned, “but again, that goes not just for Colin, there’s a lot of guys out there that are unsigned where you’re like ‘man, I’ve watched that guy on film, he’s pretty good, there must be something else there.’ Thank goodness I don’t make those decisions, I just try and complete passes.”
Yes, Derek, there’s certainly “something else there.” It owners sending the message to all players to keep quiet and stay in line. While many owners and most fans seem fine with signing players who have been charged domestic violence and worse, somehow Kaepernick is where they draw the line.