April 19, 2018

Kaepernick Can’t Even Get a Tryout, Much Less a Job

He’s filed a collusion grievance with the NFL, arguing franchises have blacklisted him over protests.

By early 2014, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had it made. He had signed a six-year, $114,000,000 contract with a $12,328,766 signing bonus, $61,000,000 of which was guaranteed. He played in the Super Bowl in 2013. And then his performance deteriorated and, in August 2016, he began his infamous national anthem protests, partly the result of pouting about being benched. Now he’s out of a job, perhaps permanently.

We’ve long catalogued those spreading protests and the resulting precipitous drop in NFL viewership. If ingrate millionaire players want to grandstand against our country and our flag and the Patriots who defended them, well, millions of football fans have made it clear that they have far better things to do. But while other kneeling players still have jobs, Kaepernick was released by the 49ers and can’t seem to nail down even a tryout with another team. The Seattle Seahawks, arguably the most “tolerant” team in the NFL, just passed on a tryout and he’s had no other offers.

Kaepernick has filed a collusion grievance with the league, arguing that NFL franchises have effectively blacklisted him. The truth, however, is that he doesn’t play well enough to merit the likely media circus and fan revolt — and the avoidance of business risk isn’t collusion.

Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Brandt laments, “It is clearer than ever to me that (1) Kaepernick is not going to be signed absent a perfect storm of circumstances, and (2) while any individual team’s actions might not meet the legal standard of collusion, there is certainly a punitive element at work here. … The Seahawks episode crystallizes what teams are thinking, in so many words: We will only employ you to be a football player if we know we are not employing you to be an activist.”

As Mark Alexander wrote in 2016, “Of course no one said it was NOT Kaepernick’s ‘right’ to be an idiot, particularly offending military Patriots, veterans and families, who suffered enormous sacrifices under the banner of our national flag so that he can accumulate enormous wealth playing a game. But exercising that right doesn’t make him any less idiotic for using the privilege of putting on that team uniform — a privilege funded by the team’s fans — to display such contempt for a nation that has provided him the opportunity to succeed and become part of the top fraction of the ‘one percent’ of wealthiest Americans. Ironically, if any of those military Patriots who serve under that flag even hinted at such discontent while in their uniform, they would find themselves charged with UCMJ violations and dishonorably discharged.”

Arguably, Kaepernick doesn’t want to be signed, as his status is now that of a persecuted martyr. And he’ll keep running the same play over and over again.


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