As time goes by and the unemployment of Colin Kaepernick lingers, it’s becoming more and more clear that teams aren’t shunning Kaepernick for his actual or perceived football abilities but because owners believe he’ll either be bad for business or detrimental to their own political views. And despite every flawed assumption or false narrative that periodically gets leaked to someone in the media who’ll pass it along without calling B.S., those who get it understand that, yes, Kaepernick’s status is all about his decision to not stand for the National Anthem during the 2016 season.
Should he have stood? Yes. Does he have a Constitutional right to not stand? Yes. Did he have valid reasons to be concerned about the training and experience of persons issued badges and deadly force when interacting with African-Americans and people of color? Yes.
Should he be allowed to work in his chosen field despite his protest and his views? Absolutely.
Former 49ers teammate Eli Harold, who joined Kaepernick in his protest but nevertheless remains gainfully employed, spoke about Kaepernick’s status on Wednesday.
“It’s frustrating,” Harold said Wednesday, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. “It’s frustrating for me because I really think it has everything to do with the protest that he did. Some General Managers and owners are scared to touch him simply because they’re scared to lose revenue, money. We all know he’s better than some of these guys that went in free agency but that’s neither here nor there. He’ll be signed by training camp, by the time training camp starts. But it’s frustrating.
“I really feel like the world took a step forward in seeing the protest, but it shows you that we really, honestly, in the NFL, in the football realm, in the professional world, we didn’t take a step forward because he’s still not employed. I feel like it’s bigger than what he did, it’s bigger than football. . . . He’s a good quarterback. You go back and look at the numbers; he had a pretty good season for the games he played. So he’ll be signed.”
There’s a good chance he won’t be signed by training camp, and that the real question will be whether anyone has him at or near the top of the call list if/when an injury happens to a starting quarterback or a backup during training camp, the preseason, or the regular season. Appearing in studio on Thursday’s PFT Live, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms suggested that Kaepernick will not get an offer in 2017.
Whether it happens or doesn’t, the clock is ticking more and more loudly as OTAs move toward their conclusion. With each passing day, he’ll have less of a chance to fully get to know a coaching staff, a playbook, his teammates, and everything else that a player needs to know in order to be successful in a new team.