For Colin Kaepernick, recent season headlines have been made more regularly off the field than on it. The former San Fransisco 49ers quarterback found himself in the midst of a polarising political storm last year when he took the decision to kneel during pre-match national anthem performances in protest against racial oppression and police brutality.
Seen by some as a valid form of protest against a prevalent issue in American society and by others as a mark of disrespect against the United States, it seemed like everyone had an opinion on Kaepernick, and virtually none of the talk was related to his performances on the field.
It is easy to forget that Kaerpernick has won a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers amid a couple of productive seasons, but he has seen his role reduced to back up quarterback more recently after his level of production dropped and Blaine Gabbert was given the starting QB roster spot at the beginning of last year’s NFL season.
The 29-year-old also came under fire from some commentators in the aftermath of last year’s presidential election, in which, Kaepernick says, he didn’t exercise his right to vote.
“You know, I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote,” he explained to reporters at the time, “I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system.”
It now seems that teams are unwilling to take a chance on Kaepernick, who, at 29-years-of-age isn’t exactly over the hill and, theoretically at least, should have a few years left in the NFL. The Cleveland Browns are one team that had shown an interest, but have been conspicuous in their silence since he became a free agent this off-season. Indeed, the Browns’ very own Left Tackle Joe Thomas tweeted out his thoughts on why teams are steering clear of Kaepernick at the present moment.
One man who doesn’t seem too disappointed by Colin Kaepernick’s current struggles to land a roster spot for next year’s NFL season is the leader of the free world, President Donald Trump.
Indeed, Trump seemed keen to take some of the credit for Kaepernick’s lack of employment, after he told a crowd at a rally in Kentucky last week that he had read an article suggesting that teams were giving the former 49er a wide berth due to concerns over the potential of a possible negative tweet from the President.
The article in question, although the President does not name it directly, could well be one on Bleacher Report, in which an anonymous NFL GM tells reporter Mike Freeman, “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him. They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team.”
For his part, Kaepernick had already announced that he would stand for the national anthem this season, though his NFL future seems uncertain at the present time. It was recently reported that the former 49er had donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels and another charitable donation of $50,000 to help to feed starving people in Somalia.