Colin Kaepernick once led his team to the Super Bowl, and many believed that he could do it again. However, given what is happening now, the Super Bowl is the least of Kaepernick’s worries, and it’s all thanks to Donald Trump.
This year is no different for the NFL than any other. Quality quarterbacks are in demand. Every team needs a starter and dependable back-ups, and they are willing to pay millions for them.
As teams scramble to put their rosters together, one would think that a quarterback like Colin Kaepernick, who played in the Super Bowl and had some quality starts last year, would be in the running for a high-end job. As the post-draft days wane on, it appears that the opposite is true.
Some of the bad news started close to home for Kaepernick, who has recently stated that he will stand for the National Anthem this year. Unfortunately, the San Francisco 49ers acquired two other free agent quarterbacks, Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkely. When asked if the 49ers would consider resigning Kaepernick, General Manager John Lynch said, “The likelihood of that happening has gone down significantly, but we’re not going to close our mind or our options on anyone, including him.”
To make matter worse, Kaepernick has not been linked to any team at all since declaring his free-agency last week.
One unnamed General Manager spoke of the controversial quarterback in specific terms. “He can still play at a high level,” the unnamed manager explained. “The problem is three things are happening with him. First, some teams genuinely believe that he can’t play. They think he’s shot. I’d put that number around 20 percent.”
He continued, “Second, some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” adding why we may have President Donald Trump to thank for Kaepernick’s bad news, saying, “They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I’d say that number is around 10 percent. Then there’s another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”
Then, he dropped a bomb that had to hurt. “Third, the rest genuinely hate him and can’t stand what he did [kneeling during the anthem]. They want nothing to do with him. They won’t move on,” the manager added. “They think showing no interest is a form of punishment. I think some teams also want to use Kaepernick as a cautionary tale to stop other players in the future from doing what he did.”
Teams “genuinely hate him;” those are brutal words for a man who makes millions with his play. Add to that the fact that the President of the United States might tweet about him or his team, and it’s no wonder Kaepernick is unsigned. Perhaps the worst statement of all came from another manager, who called the quarterback “an embarrassment to football.”
Clay Travis at OutkickTheCoverage put it like this: “I think the reality is simpler — the reason why Colin Kaepernick isn’t employed is because he wasn’t very good at quarterback last season and his problems exceed his talents.” Those are foreboding words, indeed.
In today’s environment, if a celebrity athlete is going to protest and make controversial statements, they had better be good at their jobs. Otherwise, they are seen as crybaby millionaires who are out of touch. With Donald Trump in the White House, the risk of having a controversial player like Kaepernick’s name turn up in a tweet may be too big for NFL teams to take.
So, for those of us who are more than ready to see Kaepernick fade into a distant bad memory, we can thank Donald Trump that it may soon be a reality, where we can return to football without unnecessary political statements crammed down our throats. Trump really is making America great again, starting with our much-loved pastime of football.