Colin Kaepernick was in the news once again on Memorial Day after New York Giants co-owner John Mara said signing the quarterback would upset fans. No doubt he’s right. Many fans despise the former San Francisco 49ers signal caller for protesting the national anthem last year.
That said, it’s quite remarkable that many of these same fans have no problem whatsoever with their team signing or drafting players who have a history of off-field incidents. Everyone needs a second chance, they argue. This is something Kaepernick’s former teammate, receiver Torrey Smith, discussed on Twitter after reading what Mara had to say.
Many people think Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest was an insult to soldiers who have fought and died for America. But ironically those soldiers fought for our freedom, which includes the freedom to protest for social justice. Also, there are plenty of soldiers who are proud of Kaepernick for protesting the way he did, including Smith’s own father, who was in the Army for over 20 years.
The Giants famously kept wife abuser Josh Brown on their roster for quite a long time before finally cutting him loose when the evidence against the kicker became too noxious to bear. Plenty of guys get busted for DUIs, and barely a ripple of consternation is felt among fan bases across America. Men who have a history of abusing women continually get second chances in the NFL.
Yet Kaepernick’s anthem protest was apparently toxic enough to keep him from signing as teams are well into their offseason programs.
He might sign with the Seattle Seahawks, but that’s not a done deal yet. And it’s not like this has much to do with his ability to perform (if at all), as there are currently over 100 quarterbacks signed to NFL rosters, and he’s better than at least half of them.
Whether Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed because of his political beliefs or teams simply don’t want the media headache signing him would bring, he’s certainly paying a price for his protest. It’s a price he’s willing to pay, but it’s too bad he has to pay it.