Is Colin Kaepernick being blackballed by NFL owners? It depends on who you ask.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been a controversial figure since he began protesting the national anthem last season as a way to bring attention to racial inequality, and it’s no doubt factored into his unemployment this offseason. But some NFL executives have offered differing opinions.
Albert Breer spoke to executives and coaches around the league and published an article of their takes Thursday for Sports Illustrated’s “The MMQB.” Here’s what three anonymous executives and one anonymous coach had to say about the Kaepernick situation:
Before we get into the flaws of this report, there obviously are teams in the league that don’t need Kaepernick or don’t view him as the right fit. That would happen with or without the protest, so it’s totally plausible that four teams wouldn’t get too far in those discussions. However, there definitely are some issues here that deserve pointing out.
The biggest problem here is that the executives are anonymous. There’s a time and a place to keep sources secret, but this isn’t someone giving injury or trade information before it’s public, for example. This is people with their team’s best interest in mind criticizing a player, and that’s really easy to do when no one knows who you are. Their identities are relevant because it makes a huge difference if the criticism comes from the New York Jets, who’ve made some questionable quarterback decisions recently, versus the Seattle Seahawks, who could find a fit for Kaepernick.
It would be unfair if players were allowed to criticize their coaches without being named, so why should the courtesy be extended in the opposite direction?
It’s also worth noting that “Executive 3” might not have been watching the right guy in college. Because in Kaepernick’s senior season at University of Nevada, Reno, he threw for 3,022 yards, 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions to go with 1,206 rushing yards and 20 rushing TDs.
None of that is to say that these four people weren’t genuine. But to simply take them at their word without knowing who they are or what the other 28 teams had to say makes the report incomplete.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images